How Do Probate Applications Work In Ontario?

Probate is a legal procedure that happens after a person has passed away leaving behind their belongings, real estate and other assets – all jointly referred to as the individual’s estate. Probate takes place in court where a person is given authority to act as the estate trustee or confirming the authority of a person named as the estate trustee in the deceased’s will and formally approves the deceased’s will as their last and valid will.  At Blackburn Lawyers – our Richmond Hill wills and estates lawyers have assisted numerous clients with their probate applications in Ontario. Before applying for probate in Ontario we recommend you consult with a lawyer for legal advice. In Ontario – an individual may apply for probate in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and the rules governing probate applications can be found in the Estates Act as well as court rules in the Rules of Civil Procedure.

How Can a Wills and Estates Lawyer Help With Probate Applications?

Before applying for probate in Ontario we recommend you consult with a wills and estates lawyer first. A wills and estates lawyer will determine whether a court application is necessary. In the event that you do require legal assistance – a wills and estates lawyer will help fill out court forms on your behalf, explain the legal duties and responsibilities of estate trustees, advise you on legal risks and estate tax issues if they arise. In the event an individual will challenge you on the estate or make a claim against the estate – you will certainly want to hire a lawyer for legal assistance as well.

What Do You Need To Apply for Probate in Ontario?

In order to apply for probate in Ontario – the following documents need to be submitted alongside your application:

  • The deceased’s original will;
  • Supporting documentation if there are parts of the will that explains changes or revokes any part of the will;
  • Proof of Death (Death Certificate)
  • Court forms (including information on the assets and beneficiaries of the state)

After filling out the forms, your lawyer will help you serve any relevant documents to the respective individuals and then file documents with the court. After you file documents with the court, applications are typically processed within 15 business days however if there are missing documents or if a motion was filed or needed – it may take longer for the courts to respond. Your wills and estates lawyer will keep you informed throughout the whole process. After hearing back from the Court, you will need to submit an Estate Information Return to the Ministry of Finance within 180 days after the Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee has been issued by the court. The Attorney General of Ontario’s website advises that it is best to speak with a lawyer about your new role as an estate trustee due to the legal obligations you now face as the estate trustee.

The whole process is not as simple as you think – but having a lawyer represent your interests throughout this process can help provide clarity on some of the legal complexities of probate applications and make sure your interests are always protected.

Contact Our Richmond Hill Wills and Estates Lawyers for Legal Assistance On Your Probate Application

Contact Blackburn Lawyers today for legal assistance on your wills and estates matters and/or probate application. If you contact our law firm today – you can book a consultation with a member of our legal team directly and someone will be in touch with you within 24 hours. You can book a consultation by calling 905-884-9242, filling out a contact form or emailing us directly.


Disclaimer: This article is intended to be a general overview on a legal topic. For more specific legal advice as it pertains to your unique situation – contact a wills and estates lawyer for legal advice.