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What is a Certificate of Appointment?

Applying for probate in Ontario often requires quite a bit of paperwork. Here’s what you need to know about getting a Certificate of Appointment in Ontario.

Posted on June 8, 2022 by Sara Hillier
Certificate of Appointment min

In Ontario, going through probate is often a required process if the estate of the deceased is particularly large or complex and includes many assets that aren’t jointly held or don’t have directly named beneficiaries.

In order to begin the process of settling an estate, an estate executor or estate trustee has to formally apply for probate with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in order to receive the authority to begin managing the assets in the estate or the trust.

If the estate is valued at more than $150,000 in assets, then the executor applies for a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee, which is a legal document that basically states that the petition for probate has been granted and the applicant now has the authority to act as executor or trustee.

Do I need a certificate of appointment?

If you’ve been named executor to the estate or trustee of a trust, then you usually have to formally apply for probate and receive a certificate of appointment if the estate in question is larger than $150,000. Many banks and financial institutions may also refuse to give you access to the deceased’s assets unless you have a certificate of appointment granting you the authority to act on the estate’s behalf.

The same applies when you’re trying to sell real estate or other assets belonging to the estate: Realtors and buyers may want to see a certificate of appointment before engaging in a transaction.

If the estate is smaller than $150,000, then you can avoid applying for a certificate of appointment and apply for a Small Estate Certificate instead.

How to apply

Applying for a certificate of appointment is relatively straightforward. If you were named executor or estate trustee in the deceased’s will, you can go to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice with the following documents:

You must also submit a rundown of the estate’s total value and the assets included in the estate, as well as pay an estate administration tax. You can find out how high the tax will be with our handy probate tax calculator.

Need help with probate in Ontario?

Going through probate in Ontario does not need to be confusing. If you find yourself struggling to keep your Form 74B apart from your Form 74L, help is just one click, phone call, or email away. Our experienced probate professionals can help you navigate this process effectively and efficiently. Get in touch today for a free consultation and find out how we can assist you.