Making It Easier and Less Costly to Manage Small Estates

Published on February 17, 2021

The Ontario government is easing the burden on those grieving the loss of a loved one by simplifying the process to apply to manage small estates.

Currently, the process to apply to manage an estate in Ontario can be time consuming and costly – making it less likely that people claim smaller estates – and that isn’t right. These changes will ensure fairness for everyone, regardless of the size of an estate.

We are announcing changes that will make Ontario’s probate process for small estates more accessible for grieving families, saving them time and money.

These changes build on the government's work with justice partners to simplify other processes for small estates, including:

  • allowing for the completion and filing of a new simpler application form;
  • removing requirements for certain supporting documents to be filed (for example, a commissioned affidavit of service); and,
  • guiding applicants on the process to file a probate application for a small estate.

Ontario continues to press forward with changes that simplify processes and increase access to justice. The changes announced today will move the estates sector forward in Ontario, saving families time and money.

The Stronger and Smarter Justice Act, 2020 received Royal Assent on July 8, 2020 and contained amendments to the Estates Act to enable the creation of a simplified probate procedure for small estates. These amendments have now been proclaimed and will come into force on April 1, 2021.

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