Are you looking for an inheritance lawyer in Toronto? Dealing with a death in the family is always a stressful situation. However, there can be a lot of money on the line. You might want to hire an estate lawyer to defend the will or contest it. You also might want to hire a lawyer in Toronto to help with probate. Inheritance law in Ontario is one of the most complicated areas of law.
We can connect you with a lawyer that can help with estate administration, powers of attorney, estate planning, and estate disputes.
We have a very experienced estate litigator that can help you. She is one of the top estate lawyers in Ontario.
Can the executor of a will take everything?
No, the estate does not belong to the estate trustee (also known as the executor); an estate trustee holds the estate “in trust” for the beneficiaries (also known as heirs). An estate trustee is a fiduciary, which requires them to administer the estate solely in the interest of the beneficiaries.
What is the role of the estate trustee in Toronto?
The estate trustee applies for probate (if required), gathers the assets of the estate, pays the debts of the deceased, maintains the accounts of the estate, and distributes the assets of the estate.
What is probate and when is it required?
Probate is the procedure where the court:
- Gives a person authority to act as the estate trustee of the estate;
- Formally approves the Will as the last valid Will of the deceased;
Probate is generally but not always required. An application for probate is made to the court and if successful, the court will issue a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee.
Probate is usually required in the following circumstances
- the deceased died without a Will;
- there is a dispute about the validity of the Will;
- the deceased’s Will does not name an estate trustee;
- there is a dispute about who should be the estate trustee;
- a financial institution requires proof of the estate trustee’s authority to administer the estate;
- the estate includes real property which does not pass to another person by right of survivorship; and
- one or more beneficiaries of the estate are not able to provide legal consent.
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What are ‘probate fees’ in Toronto? | Inheritance Lawyer Toronto
An estate trustee must pay estate administration tax (also known as probate fees) out of the estate based on the total value of the estate. The estate administration tax is calculated at the rate of $15 per $1,000 for the estate value in excess of $50,000. However, certain categories of property are excluded from the calculation of probate fees, including:
- Real property located outside of Ontario;
- Money, property or real property owned by the deceased jointly with one or more other persons with a right of survivorship; and
- The proceeds of the deceased’s life insurance payable to a named beneficiary.
What does ‘entail’ mean in law? | Inheritance Lawyer Toronto
An “entail” is where the succession of an estate is subject to certain limitations, namely that it may only descend to certain heirs. Historically, entails were used to limit estate succession to only male heirs.
An Inheritance Lawyer in Toronto can help you with:
- trusts and estates
- passing of accounts
- estate litigation
- estate planning in Toronto
- powers of attorney in Ontario
Can I remove the executor if they are mismanaging the estate?
If the estate trustee is not fulfilling their duties and is not acting in the best interest of the estate, anyone with a financial interest in the estate can apply to the court to have the estate trustee removed. Some reasons for the removal of an estate trustee include:
- Estate trustee is putting their interests ahead of the estate;
- The estate trustee is making a profit from their position (beyond compensation for acting as trustee);
- The estate trustee is mismanaging estate assets; and
- Estate trustee is engaging in misconduct that endangers the estate.
The court will not lightly interfere with the deceased’s choice of an estate trustee, however, the court’s principal consideration is the welfare of the beneficiaries. There must be clear evidence of the necessity for removal of the estate trustee; the estate trustee’s acts or omissions must be of such a nature as to endanger the administration of the estate.
Should I retain an Inheritance Lawyer Toronto for my inheritance?
The lawyer who probates the will is hired by the executor. This lawyer is not the lawyer for the estate or the beneficiaries; their function is simply to advise the estate trustee of their duties and obligations. Generally, a beneficiary of an estate does not need to retain a lawyer. However, if the beneficiary has concerns about the estate trustee, the validity of the Will, or any other matter related to the estate, they may wish to retain their own lawyer to obtain independent legal advice.
You can contact us if you need a lawyer for estate disputes or the passing of accounts in the Toronto area.
Click here to watch videos about inheritance law. Below is a general video that talks about inheritance.
Download Family Law Ebook | Inheritance Lawyer Toronto
Do I need a Toronto inheritance lawyer?
It will depend on your situation. The best thing for you to do is to get a free consultation with a lawyer. You can then learn about the process and the costs.
Does legal aid help with inheritance cases?
Legal aid does not deal with estate litigation.
Is family law provincial or federal?
It’s actually both. That is what makes it so confusing. Every province has their own provincial laws.
What questions should I ask family lawyer?
It’s better to tell the lawyer about your case and answer the lawyers questions. Let the lawyer determine what is important in your case. They know what the courts will want to see.
At what age can a child decide where they want to live?
Each province has their own laws. There can be other complications as well if the child has a handicap. Common ages are 18 or 19 years old.
What are my legal rights in a divorce?
You have a lot. There is a provincial Act and a federal Act that determines your rights and obligations You should definately speak to a lawyer about this question.