How to avoid probate fees in Ontario

Going through probate in order to settle their estate when someone dies can be a frustrating, long, and costly process.

Posted on June 2, 2021 by Luisa Rollenhagen
Woman Calculating Probate

Going through probate in order to settle their estate when someone dies can be a frustrating, long, and costly process. Going through probate is usually necessary in order to validate the will if estates are complex and have many assets. The probate process ensures that everything is smoothly transferred over to the appointed beneficiaries. The probate court is also in charge of officially naming the appointed executor and authorizing them to deal with banks, insurance companies, administrators, and any outstanding tax issues.

This whole process costs money: You’ll have to pay a so-called estate administration tax, also known as a probate fee, in order to go through the whole process. Fees are paid by the estate, which means that, depending on the size of the estate, beneficiaries might see a significant chunk of their inheritance get eaten up. In Ontario, probate fees are calculated on the value of the estate: For estates valued over $50,000, the fee will be calculated as $15 for every $1,000. So if you have an estate valued at $240,000, you would be facing $2,850 in fees.

No wonder that people are asking how they can avoid probate fees. The truth is, however, that if you’re going through probate, there’s no way to avoid the fees. There just isn’t.

However, here’s the good news: There are ways you can avoid going through probate, thereby saving yourself the probate fee. By simplifying your estate and giving away assets during your lifetime, you can minimize fees and even avoid probate altogether. Check out more here.

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