How An Executor Or Estate Trustee Is Appointed

If there is no will, a family member may fill the role of estate trustee, which is the legal title of the person we refer to as the executor.

The person needs to make an application to be an estate trustee,. If the person obtains the consent of the majority of people entitled to a share of the estate, then usually a bond will not have to posted, but if not, it may be unless a court orders otherwise, The amount of the bond depends upon the value of the estate when the application is made. If a person is applying to be the estate trustee, they also need to notify anyone who may have a beneficial interest in the estate. If the person can get the consents of the beneficiaries beforehand, those consents can be filed along with the application. If there are no objections, a Certificate of Estate Trustee without a Will is issued.

If there is a will, the document is called a Certificate of Estate Trustee with a Will. You don’t usually need a bond, if you are appointed by a will to be the estate trustee. Sometimes, posting a bond is requested if the estate trustee lives outside Ontario, but often that can be set aside.

It’s not always necessary to have someone officially appointed as estate trustee and there are many estates where it is not done. You very likely will need an official appointment if the deceased person had real property and you are going to transfer that to somebody else. The Land Titles office usually requests official documentation.

If you are uncertain about whom the trustee is for a will, you can file a document with the court where the deceased person resided immediately before his or her death.

Once this document is filed, you will be notified if someone starts any type of proceeding with respect to the estate of that person.

So if someone does make an application to be an estate trustee whether with or without a will, you will be notified. Then it’s up to you to go down the court to find out what it’s about, and you can start other proceedings if necessary. If you know, for instance, who the trustee is but you’re objecting to that choice, you can file a Notice of Objection even before that person makes an application.

If you, or someone you care about, is dealing with litigation law issues in the Toronto, Ontario Region, contact Steinberg, Morton, Hope & Israel LLP for a consultation.

This article is taken from a September 11, 2009 interview with David A. Brooker, litigation Lawyer with Steinberg Morton, Hope & Israel LLP, a Toronto Litigation Law Firm and is not intended as, nor should be taken to be, legal advice or opinion. Note that laws vary from province to province. Please consult with a lawyer in your own area to be sure of the laws and specific issues in your own jurisdiction.