Estate executors and trustees in Ontario are perhaps under more pressure today than ever before. As we discussed in a recent post, individuals who have received a Certificate of Appointment must file an Estate Information Return with the Ministry of Finance within 90 days of receiving the certificate.
For the purposes of the Estate Administration Tax, the filing must include a list of estate assets to show how the value of the estate was calculated. However, some members of the Ontario legislature say that the new requirement is too onerous for executors, particularly those who are grieving the loss of a loved one.
In most cases, estate executors are family members of the deceased. Critics of the 90-day time limit, which went into effect Jan. 1, say the requirement is essentially a "tax grab" that places an undue burden on executors who are already dealing with the emotional difficulty of losing a family member.
A bill currently before the legislature would eliminate the 90-day filing requirement, as well as limit Ontario's Estate Administration Tax to $3,250 and allow charitable bequests to be excluded from the taxable value of the estate. Of course, it remains to be seen how the legislature will respond to the proposed changes.
Currently, the Estate Administration Tax breaks down like this:
- $5 for every thousand up to the first $50,000
- $15 for every thousand exceeding $50,000
In fact, estate taxes in Ontario are already the highest in Canada, and estate executors and trustees often face significant difficulties in matters of probate and estate administration.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by your duties as an executor, then consider speaking with an estate administration lawyer who is committed to easing the burden on executors and trustees.