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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Perhaps you've recently lost someone close to you and have found yourself in the position of deciding whether to take on the role of the estate executor. When making such a decision, it's important to understand what you're getting into and what the advantages and disadvantages of the role are.
We regularly share relevant information about wills and estates.
Weighing up whether the remuneration is worth the costs to your time and potential risks liabilities of the role is of vital importance.
Our aim is to provide you with the basic information regarding the compensation provided to estate executors in British Columbia. Hopefully, it will equip you with the fundamental background you need to proceed with making your decision.
The Trustee Act, RSBC 1996, c.464 states that the maximum compensation of executors of an estate is 5% of the gross aggregate value of the estate. This compensation is to cover the time and effort an individual spends on the probate and estate settlement process.
In circumstances where the estate executor must manage assets on an ongoing basis, the Trustee Act states that they're entitled to a maximum of 0.4% of the average market value of assets managed on a yearly basis.
These provisions do not apply if the testator has explicitly stated a fixed fee for the executor in the will. If the will does not explicitly mention a fixed compensation, the beneficiaries may decide on appropriate compensation. If the beneficiary cannot agree for any reason, the compensation will be decided by the probate court.
The criteria that are used by the court to determine the appropriate remuneration for the estate executor have been settled law for more than 100 years. These criteria are as follows:
Before they can go ahead and distribute the estate, including covering their own compensation, an estate executor must first provide the beneficiaries with a final accounting report. The beneficiaries must agree with the final report before they can proceed. If they cannot agree they must file a dispute with the probate court, who will then make a final decision.
While the maximum fee for compensation cannot exceed 5% of the total estate value, not every case allows for the full 5% to be awarded.
The duties involved in estate settlement can vary widely per case, it's important to have a clear and vivid idea of what you're getting into before you agree to take on the role. Knowing what the responsibilities are alongside whether the compensation provided will be worth it for you is the first step to making an informed decision.
In British Columbia, the maximum compensation provided to an estate executor is 5% of the estate's total value.