Probate Fee Calculator

Probate Fee Calculator

This probate fee calculator can be used to provide an estimate on the estate administration tax or probate fee payable by an estate.

Select the Province or Territory, then enter the value of estate assets subject to probate.

*Exclude values where a qualified beneficiary other than the Estate is named. Applicable in provinces where the designation of a beneficiary or successor annuitant is allowed. This calculator is provided for estimate purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Calculations are based on information current as of January 2021.

What is probate?

When someone dies, the executor of that person’s estate will normally apply to the court of the province or territory where that person lived for a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee with a Will (also known as “Letters Probate”). This process confirms the validity of the will and provides the executor with approval to take charge of the deceased’s affairs and distribute their assets. If the deceased does not have a will, their estate must still be probated.

What is a probate fee?

A probate fee (also called “estate administration tax” in Ontario) is a fee paid to the government when someone dies. The amount of the fee is based on the total value of the deceased person’s estate and is normally payable to the provincial or territorial government where they lived. Probate fees are paid from the estate’s assets.

How is the probate fee calculated?

Probate fees are calculated based on the size of a person’s estate when they die. In general, it is based on the fair market value of all property held solely in their name on the date of death. This includes real estate, vehicles, bank accounts, and personal effects including artwork and jewelry.

If any property was owned jointly as “tenants-in-common”, only the deceased’s share of the value is included in their estate. If the property was owned in “joint tenancy with right of survivorship”, its value is not included in the estate as the ownership passes directly to the surviving joint owner.

When calculating the probate fee, generally the value of debts owed on a mortgage or lien on a property can be subtracted. However, other debts such as mortgages or liens on property outside of the province the person lived in, credit card debt, car loans, lines of credit, or any taxes owed, cannot be subtracted.

 

How can probate fees be reduced?

It is possible to reduce the size of your estate, and as a result the probate fee that will become payable. Professional advice is a must when considering the possibility of reducing probate costs. Some examples may include:

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Giving gifts to people and organizations while you're alive


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Naming qualified beneficiaries on your life insurance policy, RRSPs, RRIFs, and TFSAs (where permitted)


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Owning property with someone else jointly with rights of survivorship


These assets will not be included in your estate when you die and therefore are not included when calculating probate fees. Setting up an alter ego or joint partner trust are other ways to reduce probate costs. Seek professional legal advice when creating a formal trust and when trying to lower probate fees.


Preparing your estate plan can be an enriching experience that provides peace of mind and clarity into the future for all involved. Speak to us today about how we can help you develop an organized, tax-efficient estate plan.

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Sources:
  1. Probate Fees
  2. Cost to probate a Will in Quebec
Disclaimer:
This calculator is provided for estimate purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Prior to implementing any estate strategies individuals should consult with a qualified Tax Advisor, Accountant, Legal Professional, Financial Advisor or other professional to discuss the implications specific to their situation. Estate law, including wills, powers of attorney and probate fees, vary and are governed by each province and/or territory. Please review provincial laws based on where you reside. Calculations are based on information current as of August 2021. Trademarks owned by Investment Planning Counsel Inc. and licensed to its subsidiary corporations. Investment Planning Counsel is a fully integrated Wealth Management Company. Mutual Funds are available through IPC Investment Corporation and IPC Securities Corporation. Securities are available through IPC Securities Corporation, a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund. Insurance products are available through IPC Estate Services Inc. & PPI Management Inc. © Copyright 2021. All Rights Reserved.