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Estate Forms Needed For Probate in Ontario

This guide provides clear guidance on the probate estate forms required by Ontario in 2024 for intestate and testate estates.

Estate Forms Needed For Probate in Ontario

Since 2022, Ontario has made significant changes to its estate probate forms, streamlining the paperwork process for executors and personal representatives alike.

Despite these improvements, navigating probate can still be complex, as the specific forms required can vary depending on the unique circumstances of each case.

This blog post helps you understand which forms you need, compiled by our lists of experts who submit hundreds of probate applications a month for our clients.

Forms needed to apply for probate:

To apply for probate, you will need the following forms:

  • Form 74A - Application for a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee: This form initiates the probate process by validating the will, appointing an estate trustee, detailing the deceased's personal and asset information, identifying beneficiaries, and calculating estate administration tax.
  • Form 74B - Affidavit of Service of Application for a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee: A sworn statement confirming the serving of the probate application to all entitled parties, including specifics on how the application was served (e.g., email, mail, courier), and ensuring compliance with legal requirements for notifying interested persons and entities in the estate administration process.
  • Form 74D - Affidavit of Execution of Will or Codicil: A sworn statement by a witness to the signing of a will or codicil, detailing their presence (either in person or via video conference) during the document's execution, confirming the identity of the testator and any other witnesses, and attesting to the proper execution of the document in accordance with legal requirements.
  • Form 74E - Affidavit of Condition of Will or Codicil: A legal affidavit where a witness confirms the execution of a will or codicil by the deceased, describes the presence and participation of witnesses during the execution, notes any alterations or conditions of the document, and verifies its current condition compared to when it was executed, ensuring its integrity for probate proceedings.

If the deceased had a holographic will, the executor requires:

  • Form 74F - Affidavit Regarding a Holograph Will or Codicil: A legal document where an individual affirms under oath their familiarity with the deceased's handwriting and signature, attesting that the attached holograph will or codicil (entirely handwritten by the deceased) is genuine. The affiant also declares their age, lack of personal interest in the estate, and absence of a beneficiary relationship to ensure impartiality in authenticating the document.

If the deceased passed away without a will:

  • Forms 74A and 74B will still be required with: Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee without a Will as the selected application.

In addition to form 74a and 74b the following forms will be needed if the deceased passed away without a will:

Form 74G Part 2 - Consent to Appointment of Estate Trustee or to an Order Dispensing with/Reducing Bond: A legal document used by adult beneficiaries (18 years or older) who are entitled to share in the estate distribution. It serves two primary purposes:

  1. To consent to the granting of a Certificate of Appointment to someone not named in the deceased's will, when applying for a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee.
  2. To consent to an order that dispenses with the need for a bond or reduces the bond amount in applications for a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee or a Small Estate Certificate.

If a bond is needed you will need either of these forms:

  • 74M - Personal Bond Sureties
  • 74L - Insurance or Guarantee Company Bond

Bonds serve as an essential security measure under various circumstances, ensuring the responsible management and protection of the estate's assets. These situations typically include:

  • Absence of a Will: With a significant portion of Canadians not having a will, estate bonds are often required when someone passes away without one, leaving no instructions or appointed executor for the estate.
  • Unspecified Trustee in a Will: If a will does not name an executor, the courts must appoint an estate administrator. An administration bond is then necessary to guarantee the proper management of the estate by this appointed individual. This also applies in cases where the originally chosen trustee is unable or unwilling to serve, is a minor, or is deemed incapable.
  • Appointment of a Foreign Estate Trustee: When the executor or administrator does not reside in Ontario, a bond is required to address any complexities arising from jurisdictional differences, safeguarding the estate’s assets.
  • Management of Complex Estates: For estates that are particularly challenging to manage due to their complexity, the courts may mandate an administration bond during the probate process to ensure adherence to legal obligations and prevent potential financial losses.

Forms needed for renunciation of executor duties:

If an executor does not feel they can carry on their duties of being an estate trustee, or if the named executor of the will wants to hand off their fiduciary duty, they would need:

Form 74G Part 1 (Renunciation) is mandatory when there are individuals who are entitled to be appointed as estate trustees but have chosen not to apply for the role themselves. This includes:

  • If there is a will, every living person named in the will or codicil as an estate trustee who has not joined the application and is entitled to do so must provide a renunciation.
  • If there is no will, every person who is entitled in priority or is in equal right to be named as estate trustee and who has not joined the application must renounce their right to be appointed.

Forms for simplified Probate (small estate) for estates under $150,000:

  • Form 74.1A Application for a Small Estate Certificate (Estate valued at $150,000 or less): This application is designed for estates with a total value not exceeding $150,000, streamlining the process for appointing an estate trustee. Just like form 74A, Form 74.1A requires detailed information about the deceased, including personal details, marital status, and occupation, as well as specifics about the estate's assets, both real and personal property.
  • Form 74.1B - Request to File an Application for a Small Estate Certificate or an Amended Small Estate Certificate: This form is a formal request to the Superior Court of Justice to process either a new application for a Small Estate Certificate or to amend an existing one, specifically for estates valued at $150,000 or less. It involves attaching necessary documents such as the application form, deceased’s will, proof of death, and, if applicable, a bond or affidavits
  • Form 74.1C - Small Estate Certificate (draft):This certificate serves as formal recognition of the applicant's entitlement to manage the estate’s assets, aligning with the details sworn/affirmed in their application, including any pertinent details about the will's execution or related court orders.

Forms needed for Foreign Estate Trustees, Resealing, and Ancillary proceedings:

Form 74J - Application for Certificate or Confirmation of Appointment

This all-in-one form is used for various estate administration scenario for foreign executors, resealing probate, and succeeding trustees. It's divided into 8 parts:

1. Deceased's information (used in all cases)
2. Succeeding Estate Trustee applications
3. Foreign Estate Trustee's Nominee applications (without a Will)
4. Resealing or Ancillary Appointment applications (with a Will)
5. Estate asset values
6. Applicant's entitlement to apply
7. Estate Administration Tax (for foreign, resealing, ancillary cases)
8. Bond requirements

Applicants complete only the relevant parts based on their specific situation.

How to file probate forms with the Ontario Supreme Court

There are two methods to submit your probate application:

  1. Electronic submission via email
  2. In-person filing at the Superior Court

Electronic Filing Process:

To file probate documents electronically, follow these steps:

  1. Find the email for your specific local Superior Court of Justice probate division on the official website - found here: https://www.ontariocourts.ca/scj/notices-and-orders-covid-19/consolidated-notice/email-probate/
  2. Craft your email: Use a clear subject line format: Court acronym, law area, file number (if applicable), and document type. Example: "SCJ - ESTATES - ES-1234567 - Application for Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee" For new files: "SCJ - ESTATES - new file - Application for Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee"
  3. Prepare attachments:
    • All required probate forms and the Information Form (available here). Gather supporting documents like affidavits, consents, death certificates, and any necessary motions.
    • Keep total email size under 35MB
    • Use PDF format for all documents
    • Each PDF should contain a single court form
    • Label PDFs with form number and document type
  4. Handle original documents: Mail, courier, or deliver in person any original documents (wills, bonds) and certified copies to the court where you filed the application.

If you prefer to file physically:

Submit your application package to the Superior Court of Justice in the county or district where the deceased last resided. For those who weren't Ontario residents, file where they owned property within the province.

Navigating Ontario's Probate Forms: Your Next Steps

Dealing with probate forms in Ontario can be complex, whether you're handling a standard estate, a small estate under $150,000, or dealing with foreign assets. From Form 74A for initiating the probate process to specialized forms for holographic wills or estate trustees, each situation requires careful attention to detail.

Don't let the paperwork overwhelm you. Our team of experts handles hundreds of probate applications every month, ensuring accuracy and efficiency in every step of the process.

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Our estate professionals will:

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