You’ve asked and we’ve answered...visit our FAQs page for the response to the following frequently asked question and more.
Question: Appraisals - Do I need them?
Answer: “In a word: Yes. If probate is required an appraisal will help protect you from government oversight that may find fault with how you value estate assets. For the cost of doing it right and sleeping easier, we would always suggest getting certified appraisals for the real estate and personal property owned by the deceased. If probate is not required, the risks are different.”
In Ontario, whether or not probate is required is dependent upon the type and value of the estate assets as well as whether the choice or actions of the appointed Estate Trustee(s) are being contested by other beneficiaries/interested parties. Probate is often required if the estate consists of property owned by the deceased individual alone or as a tenant in common, and/or if the deceased had sole ownership of common shares, and/or if the deceased had investments in accounts at financial institutions (banks, trusts etc.) held solely in the name of the deceased. It is recommended that a lawyer be consulted to determine whether or not probate is required.
When probate is required, the importance of completing estate appraisals given the requirements of The New Ontario Estate Administration Tax Regime that came into effect January 1, 2015 under the Estate Administration Tax Act for probate filing cannot be emphasized enough. Having all estate assets (real and personal property) properly appraised, helps mitigate Estate Trustee fiduciary risk. When dealing with estates, Gordon's always provides true appraisals, rather than simple "opinions of value", which were more common historically.
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