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Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee and Probate Laws


“I’ve never walked out from a court session with him disappointed…

Barry really saved my life and my son in that situation”


It is always a difficult time when there is a death in the family, and it is helpful to have extra support during these times. At Nussbaum Law PC, our team is experienced and understands the technicalities of the probate process. We can assist you in obtaining a certificate of appointment of an estate trustee quickly and effectively.

When a person dies, they commonly leave behind a Will with directions on how their personal belongings, real estate, and other assets will be divided. In Ontario, an estate trustee is the only individual who has the legal authority to carry out the directions contained in a Will.

Probate is a procedure where a Will undergoes review to determine whether it has been accepted as valid and legal, then the court issue a certificate of appointment of estate trustee accordingly. During the probate procedure, the Superior Court of Justice will confirm the authority of a person named as the estate trustee in the deceased’s will; or in the absence of a Will, give an applicant the authority to act as the estate trustee of an estate. The certificate of appointment of the estate trustee is to ensure there is proof of authority for the estate trustee to execute the terms contained in the will.

There are certain circumstances where an estate trustee does not need a certificate or probate, this will be dependent on what the estate contains and who the beneficiaries are. For example, in the circumstance the property is jointly owned, probate and a certificate of appointment will not be necessary. However, if the type of asset in the estate is held by a financial institution, the estate must be probated. A certificate of appointment of estate trustee is obtained when a person applies to be the executor and then successfully obtains a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee, they are then granted with the legal authority as the executor to administer the provisions of the deceased’s Will. Absent a Will, the certificate of appointment of estate trustee will give authority to administer and distribute the estate to potential beneficiaries as directed by the Ontario Succession Law Reform Act.

Executing a Will is specific and may have many complexities. Probate includes things like organizing a deceased person’s estate such as managing their money, assets, and inheritances. As such, the cost of probate and obtaining a certificate of appointment of an estate trustee in Ontario can vary drastically according to the complexities the Will may or may not contain.

Although it is not required, in most cases, it would be wise to retain counsel where a certificate of appointment of an estate trustee is concerned. A lawyer can help deal with complex situations, such as a person wishing to object to the certificate of appointment of estate trustee. For example, a person who appears to have a financial interest in the estate may give a notice of objection by filing with the court and challenging your application. Investing in a lawyer will be beneficial in overcoming any sort of potential hurdle and in guiding the executor of the Will or the beneficiaries of an estate through the probate process.

Contact Nussbaum Law and seek assistance if you have questions about whether probate is necessary, how to apply for probate of an estate, the legal duties and responsibilities of an estate trustee, and the potential legal risks of being an estate trustee. Our team understands this is a complex, cumber stone, and confusing process and we are available to provide you with suitable legal advice.

Did You Know

Most abusers’ behaviour stems from feelings of privilege and entitlement and learned attitudes.

These can be extremely challenging to change. They must be deeply committed to making lasting changes to their behaviour. 

Published On:December 26, 2021