The probate process in Ontario is typically long, sometimes taking as long as a year. Often, much of that time involves waiting for the administrative offices of the estate court to catch up on its paperwork. In fact, many families are increasingly frustrated when they try to bring a loved one’s estate to a close, including selling real property, and are met with delays over mistakes on their probate applications.
To begin the probate process, you must apply for a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee before you can deal with the assets and debts in the estate. Because of recent world events, the normal wait for processing your application may now be months longer. However, you may quickly receive a rejection for any of the following simple mistakes:
- Using the wrong form
- Not making sure the names on the application match the legal names of those involved as well as the names on any will or other documents
- Using inconsistent information on the various forms, such as your loved one’s occupation and the date of death
- Failing to include the appropriate estate administration tax
- Applying for a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee when the will does not name you as estate trustee
These are just a few of the easily overlooked issues that can cause enormous delays in the start of the probate process in Ontario. Additional problems may arise if your loved one did not have a will or if others submit probate applications for the same estate. Working with a legal professional may reduce the chances of making critical errors that may create frustration and hardship for you and your family.