Tuesday, January 27, 2015

New Estate Information Return

Ontario releases new Estate Information Return

Effective January 1, 2015, estate trustees (i.e., executors) in Ontario have additional duties, with Ontario’s release of its Estate Information Return.   Part of the probate process, this new return must be filed within 90 calendar days after a certificate of appointment of estate trustee is issued.  This return is not required where an application for probate was made prior to January 1, 2015.

On the Estate Information Return, the estate trustee will need to provide information on the Fair Market Value of the assets forming part of the estate for estate administration tax (i.e., probate fee) purposes.

In the FAQ, Ontario has confirmed that certain assets are excluded from the value of the estate for purposes of the tax.   Excluded assets include “RRSPs, RRIFs, TFSAs and life insurance policies where there is a living named beneficiary”. (Please see the 8th point in the section entitled, "Value of estate assets" in the FAQ)

The return, as well as the Guide for completing it, can be accessed from the Ontario Ministry of Finance’s web-site.

Also, in 2012, when the proposed changes had been tabled, we prepared a summary of the changes to the Estate Administration Tax Act in Probate Process – Ontario (7193).  Here, you will also find an example of how the legislation has impacted estate executors’ responsibilities.

More than ever, it’s the right time to discuss segregated funds’ advantages, which include estate bypass when a named beneficiary is designated.   Contact your sales office for more details.

Information provided by Standard Life

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