Probate Fee Minimization

In 1992, Ontario raised its probate fees (known as Ontario Estate Administration Tax) to approximately 1.5 percent. This rate may sound minimal. However, it is one of the highest rates in North America and, for high net worth individuals and families, equals approximately:

  • A $75,000 fee for an estate of $5 million
  • A $150,000 fee for an estate of $10 million
  • A $300,000 fee for an estate of $20 million

It makes sense to take steps to mitigate this tax, which is paid at the time a will is submitted to the court for probate.

At the Toronto, Ontario law firm of O'Sullivan Estate Lawyers LLP, we have helped many clients minimize probate fees.

Effective Techniques to Avoid or Minimize Probate Fees and Estate Administration Tax

We can help you explore a range of effective methods to avoid any unnecessary reduction of the estate through probate fees or taxation. These may include:

  • Transferring assets to a trust. On death, assets in the trust do not form part of the estate. Probate fees are thus avoided
  • Using multiple wills
  • Transferring assets to Alberta or other low-probate fee jurisdictions in conjunction with using a separate will for those assets
  • Titling assets to "joint with right of survivorship" so that when one party dies, the other automatically becomes sole owner
  • Effectively using beneficiary designations for Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs), RRIFs, other plans and for life insurance
  • Inter vivos gifts and other legal strategies and tools

Arrange a Meeting With Our Lawyers

For professional advice in regard to your estate planning options, contact an Ontario estate administration tax lawyer at our firm.