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What is a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee?

In Ontario, a properly drafted Will names an estate trustee(s) who will have the right to deal with the assets in the deceased’s estate immediately upon his/her death. The estate trustee’s authority arises from the Will itself. Where there is no Will, there is no person who can act immediately upon death. Someone must apply to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to be appointed estate trustee. In this case, the estate trustee’s authority comes only from the Court order. However, where is a substantial amount of money or land in the estate, even where there is a valid Will, banks and financial institutions most often ask for a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee. Where there is a valid Will, it is easier and faster to obtain the Certificate from Court.

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