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Unusual Probate Applications

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In this paper I discuss unusual probate applications that I have encountered in my estates practice and review the law with respect to these kinds of applications. In the Appendix, I have provided samples of the documents used to successfully obtain a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee (‘probate’) in the applications discussed.

In the first and most complex of the three applications, a young couple, recent immigrants to Canada from Russia, died a few hours apart as a result of a motor vehicle accident. The couple were on their way to Toronto to catch a flight to a southern resort. It was December and driving conditions were less than ideal. Both died intestate and neither had children. The couple’s family members lived in Russia.

The second unusual probate application required probate of a Quebec notarial will. At the date of death, the deceased was a resident of Ontario but did not have an Ontario will. Her last will was a Quebec notarial will which had been prepared when she lived in Quebec some years before.

In the third unusual probate application, the deceased had a formal will prepared and executed in Ontario. After he died, the will could not be found. It was assumed that the will had been lost during the process of cleaning out the deceased’s residence in preparation for a move to a retirement residence.

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