Ontario Executors Require Answers to Questions: How long does it take to handle an estate?

How long does it take to handle an estate?

Every estate is different. You should consult with a lawyer about your time commitments as executor. There is a rule of thumb called the executor’s year. This describes how long a beneficiary should wait for a distribution from an estate. Some estates can take much longer. How long? That can depend on income tax filings and if a tax clearance is required.

In some jurisdictions, you will make mandatory filing deadlines. That means you must file tax returns for a deceased within six months of their passing. Ontario’s estate information returns for provincial estate tax have a 90-day deadline. This must be delivered within 90 days of the issuance of an estate certificate.

It’s crucial for you to get legal advice immediately when a person dies. This will identify any deadlines that could put you at risk.

Obtaining an income tax clearance for an estate will take time. It can take eight months to obtain a clearance. This often stretches executor work to 18 months or more before a final distribution.

Some wills can require long-term trusts. You may set aside money in trust to provide for children until they are 21.

Trusts can add years of extra work. You may be investing and distributing money for the children’s custodians until they are adults. Remember, if you do not think you can complete the job, it is better to resign.

About Edward Olkovich

I am a Toronto estate lawyer and Certified Specialist in Estates and Trusts Law. I edit Carswell’s legal guide Compensation and Duties of Estate Trustees, Guardians and Attorneys. I have handled estate disputes and probate problems since 1978.