Ontario Estate Information Return – 3 Things Executors Probably Don’t Know
Ontario executors now have new probate headaches.
I’ll share 3 key tips that you and your estate trustee probably don’t know.
These tips should help eliminate some probate panic.
TIP #1 Estate Information Return (EIR)
These forms are required for most estates after January 1, 2015.
Estate representatives will first get estate certificates from the court. They must then deliver the EIR within 90 calendar days.
They deliver an EIR to the Ministry of Finance. See tip # 3 for delivery options below.
Estate trustees must disclose and value the estate inventory on the EIR.
TIP #2 Beware! The EIR is a Tax Form
The government uses the EIR to enforce the provincial probate tax.
Fair market value is used to calculate this provincial estate tax.
The government wants to help you complete the EIR. They have a 17-page guide to the Estate Information Return. You can read the free guide here.
Legal Definitions in the Guide
You can own your assets and stuff in different ways.
Jake buys a piece of property to build a ski chalet. He wants Ted, his brother-in-law, to become his partner. So Jake registers ownership of the land his name with his brother–in-law, Ted.
Ted has not paid any money for the land.
Everyone is surprised when Jake dies.
In this example, you see how ownership can be confusing.
Who owns the land after Jake dies?
- Does it belong to the surviving registered owner on title?
- Does it belong to the person who paid for the land?
- Does it belong 50/50 to Jake and Ted as partners?
- If the property was jointly owned does it matter?
- What if it was jointly owned but they signed a trust agreement?
Even lawyers can disagree on the difference between legal title and beneficial ownership.
The government guide tries to explain these legal terms:
- Beneficial ownership
- Jointly Owned Property
- Joint Ownership with Rights of Survivorship
- Joint Ownership without Right of Survivorship
- Joint Tenancy
- Legal Title
Most situations like Jake’s will require a lawyer to advise you.
Making a mistake can lead to estate administration tax problems.
TIP # 3 Delivery Options for the Estate Information Return
You can fill out the form online but must print it for delivery.
Once you complete the EIR, print it and keep a copy for yourself. You then deliver the EIR by one of these options:
1. Mail: Ministry of Finance, Advisory and Compliance Branch, 33 King Street West, PO Box 625, Oshawa ON L1H 8H9
2. Fax: 1-866-888-3850
3. Personal delivery or by courier: Ministry of Finance, 33 King Street West, Oshawa ON L1H 8H9
4. As of May 1, 2015, in person at select Service Ontario locations here or call toll free 1-888-745 8888
If you are an executor, learn more about Ontario’s Estate Administration Tax:
About Edward Olkovich
I am Toronto estate lawyer, author and editor of Carswell’s legal guide Compensation and Duties of Estate Trustees, Guardians and Attorneys. I am a Certified Specialist in Estates and Trusts Law. I have handled estate disputes and probate problems since 1978. © 2015Posted In: Executors On: May 26th, 2016