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[OP]
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Feb 25, 2018
567 posts
215 upvotes

Probate and wills

Does anyone know about estate law? A friend of our families passed away 3 years ago then his wife shortly afterwards. I've known him my entire life and kept in contact with him with emails and visits now and then.

About 4 years ago his wife told me i was in the will. Nobody contacted we about his death or funeral, i heard about it 6 months later. I then contact the daughter and sheepishly asked if i was left anything. She seemed kind rude about it. No.
I have since contacted the court house and neither of their wills have been probated. Seems kind of strange since it would have been a couple million at least. Any idea of what to do now?
6 replies
Deal Addict
Jun 26, 2019
1960 posts
1695 upvotes
GTA
DaveVentura wrote: I then contact the daughter and sheepishly asked if i was left anything. She seemed kind rude about it. No.
I hope you can understand why your reaching out to her may not have been greeted so warmly.

The real question here, is are you sure there is a Will? If nothing has been probated, it sounds like there may not have been one.

There are lots of potentials here just based on the limited information here. There could have been no will and money was distributed by law, or maybe all the accounts/funds were held jointly between the parents and their kids.

In most cases, a financial institution will require the probate to transfer the funds from the estate to whomever. So maybe they just dealt with everything ahead of time to avoid the 1.5% probate fee.

Lot's of unknowns in this case, if nothing has been probated, the will cannot be accessed by the public.
Deal Fanatic
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Oct 16, 2008
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Vaughan
DaveVentura wrote: Does anyone know about estate law? A friend of our families passed away 3 years ago then his wife shortly afterwards. I've known him my entire life and kept in contact with him with emails and visits now and then.

About 4 years ago his wife told me i was in the will. Nobody contacted we about his death or funeral, i heard about it 6 months later. I then contact the daughter and sheepishly asked if i was left anything. She seemed kind rude about it. No.
I have since contacted the court house and neither of their wills have been probated. Seems kind of strange since it would have been a couple million at least. Any idea of what to do now?
Is there a will? If there was and your name was in it. You will be notified.
...
Deal Fanatic
Jan 21, 2018
7183 posts
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Vancouver
teoconca wrote: Is there a will? If there was and your name was in it. You will be notified.
Not necessarily. There may be no will, or more than one will, and unless your province has a wills registry, it may be difficult to locate the current will or any will at all.

If the assets are more than a minimal amount, probate is necessary to release them - banks and financial institutions will ask the executor for the probate certificate, One party may present a will to the probate court, and that will be the will that is accepted if it is not invalid and is not challenged. The probate court rules on the legality of the will, collects the provincial tax, and issues the probate certificate. It is not the job of the probate court to contact the beneficiaries, it is the job of the named executor. The executor can be sued if they did not do their job.
[OP]
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Feb 25, 2018
567 posts
215 upvotes
I assume there is a will, since i was told i was in the will. Why tell someone they are in a will if it is not true?

I don't know the daughter very well but i can easily image how she may not like someone else getting a piece of the pie. You think people are nice but once people die and nobody is around then people change.

The husband died then the wife 6 months after. Then it is just the daughter and her husband left. If they dispersed the funds, put the house in the daughter name to avoid probate, then just a bit left and the banks lets them have that. Maybe she says there is no will. Then they just don't bother notifying me since there is nothing i can do anyways.
Sr. Member
Jul 18, 2020
753 posts
1217 upvotes
Most likely the will is just a hand written note without going through a lawyer or the notary so the daughter probably just toss it away as she know she is the only next of kin and she will inherit everything. So you are pretty much out of luck.

As for the probate fee it is just 1.5% in Ontario , so even if the house worth a few million $ the probate fee will be insignificant.
Sr. Member
Jan 15, 2015
629 posts
381 upvotes
DaveVentura wrote: I assume there is a will, since i was told i was in the will. Why tell someone they are in a will if it is not true?

I don't know the daughter very well but i can easily image how she may not like someone else getting a piece of the pie. You think people are nice but once people die and nobody is around then people change.

The husband died then the wife 6 months after. Then it is just the daughter and her husband left. If they dispersed the funds, put the house in the daughter name to avoid probate, then just a bit left and the banks lets them have that. Maybe she says there is no will. Then they just don't bother notifying me since there is nothing i can do anyways.
In order to transfer the house to her name, the daughter must have been on title in the first place. If you are not on title as joint tenant prior to death of the property holder, you can only transfer the deceased's share after grant of probate. And in order for the courts to grant probate, you must present a valid will.

Bank accounts may be transferred without probate provided the amounts are not huge, and banks will in all likelihood require both a death certificate and will.

Anything of value that can be transferred outside of probate is not normally listed as assets during probate (probate fees being determined by value of estate), so legally there is very little you can do to claim them. Unless, of course, the deceased specifically left you the house in the will.

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