Estate Administration

Estate Administration

A personal representative of an estate has the obligation to carry out the terms of the deceased's will or to administer and distribute the deceased's estate in accordance with statutory requirements in the event of an intestacy. A personal representative must take steps as soon as is possible following the death of the person whose estate is the subject of the administration to:

(a) arrange for the burial or other disposition of the remains of the deceased;

(b) ascertain all assets and liabilities of the deceased including advertising for creditors where appropriate;

(c) apply to the Superior Court of Justice, where necessary, for a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee with a Will or a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee without a Will;

(d) realize the estate assets;

(e) determine the lawful distribution of the estate including ascertaining heirs at law;

(f) file all necessary income tax returns and arrange for the satisfaction of all liabilities including income tax liabilities;

(g) respond to any challenges or claims against the estate by beneficiaries or third parties;

(h) maintain and provide to the beneficiaries and/or heirs estate accounts reflecting all of the receipts and disbursements made during the course of the administration of the estate;

Generally, a personal representative will meet with a solicitor shortly after the death of the deceased to review his or her duties. The administration of the estate includes some solicitor's work for which the estate trustee may be properly reimbursed out of the estate. This work may include preparing an application for a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee; preparing transmission applications necessary for the sale of property, providing advice to the estate trustee with respect to the estate trustee's duties. The legal fees paid by a personal representative to a solicitor are subject to review by the court upon an audit of the estate accounts.