Apr 06, 2022
What's New in Ontario's Probate Laws for 2022?
Ontario’s Succession Law Reform Act determines how wills and estates are executed. Here are the new changes for 2022.
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Until someone close to you has died and you’ve been named their estate executor, you’ve probably not given the process of settling someone’s estate a lot of thought. When the moment does come, you might find yourself frantically searching the internet for how to proceed, or turning to the first lawyer that pops up in your Google searches. And while it’s totally understandable that you’d want to offload as much as possible onto an expert—especially once you realize what the responsibilities of an estate executor actually entail—, we’re here to tell you that you may want to rethink the “traditional” way of settling an estate. Here’s why:
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If you decide to get a lawyer involved, you’ll end up in a lot of in-person consultation meetings before deciding on someone you like, who has time, and who is specialized in estate law. This won’t only take up a lot of time, it could cost you too—not everyone does free consultations.
Once you’ve decided on a lawyer, they’ll take over the probate application for you. This can cost you up to $1,500 upfront. And then there’s a lawyer’s hourly fee: That can range from anywhere between $250 to $500. And keep in mind that estates take months and several hours of work before they’re settled.
Perhaps you’ve also been advised to hire the services of an accountant to deal with the deceased’s final tax return and report any earnings the estate may be generating during the settlement process. Once again, you’ll probably have to go through various meetings before settling on someone, and then you’ll be looking at fees between $1,500 to $3,000. At the end of the entire ordeal, you may be looking at several thousand dollars in costs.
Some people decide they want to try to deal with as little as possible and instead allow a trust office to take over the settlement process. While this absolves you of having to schedule a bunch of in-person meetings with lawyers and accountants, that sort of service comes with a price.
A trust office will charge you several fees, including 3.5% of the estate’s value. They’ll also charge you for applying for probate and filing estate tax returns. So while a trust may provide a lot of services, you may end up paying around $17,000 for an estate settlement. Plus, you’ll need to go about finding a suitable trust in the first place, so you’re not totally free of all those consultation meetings that eat up huge chunks of your time.
ClearEstate can help you save a significant amount of money while also assisting you during every step of the way in the settlement process. How? At ClearEstate, we believe that you don’t necessarily need all of those expensive experts, and that—with some key tools and expert guidance—you’re perfectly equipped to handle most estate settlements.
We empower estate executors by providing everything they need: From beneficiary portals to executor checklists and asset inventory lists, ClearEstate streamlines the entire settlement journey. And if you do get stuck or need more assistance, then we’re only a phone call, a click, or an email away. Think of us as a one-stop shop for all of your estate settlement needs.
Our pricing system is also completely transparent, with no hidden fees or surprises. You can start settling an estate for as little as $2,500, or even get a full white-glove service for $6,500. Want to know more about how we’re changing the estate settlement game? Get in touch for a free consultation!