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Estate administration begins before a probate is filed

The death of a loved one can devastate an Ontario family. While many family members want time to process their grief, certain tasks need attention nearly right away. Many people believe that the work does not begin until the probate is filed, but the estate administration process actually begins much sooner.

Notifications of the death are vital. For instance, if an Ontario resident received any benefits such as retirement or government benefits, letting the appropriate parties know as quickly as possible helps prevent the receipt of payments that the estate will need to return. In addition, survivor's benefits may be available, which could help with interim expenses while the probate progresses.

Another important task isĀ obtaining a death certificate as soon as possible. Multiple copies will be needed since just about everyone will want this documentation for proof, especially where money is involved. For example, a death certificate will be required to cancel personal identification such as passports. Banks, creditors and others will also need this document in order to cancel or close accounts. If the deceased owned a life insurance policy, it will be needed in order to file a claim for benefits.

While a probate may be an integral part of estate administration, other tasks often take place prior to even beginning such a process. Taking care of the above, and any other necessary tasks, usually take place either before or in tandem with filing a probate. Knowing what issues require immediate attention could cause confusion, so seeking out the advice and assistance of a lawyer experienced in these matters could prove invaluable in order to avoid missing something important.

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