Back to Basics II: Where are the Beneficiaries?

September 29, 2016 Doreen So Estate & Trust, Estate Planning, Executors and Trustees, Trustees, Wills Tags: , , , , , 0 Comments

As a second part to Tuesday’s blog, our very own Ian Hull was also a presenter at the recent Law Society of Upper Canada Practice Gems: Probate Essentials 2016 program on September 20, 2016.  Ian and our associate, Laura Betts, wrote a paper on various issues surrounding the obligation to locate and notify the beneficiaries of an estate and what may be done when a person cannot be located.

Estate trustee's have an obligation to locate and notify the beneficiaries of an estate.
“Issues may arise when a named beneficiary is simply unknown to the estate trustee and the family…”

These issues may arise when a named beneficiary is simply unknown to the estate trustee and the family, or they may arise when a class of beneficiaries are named and the exact identities of the deceased’s “cousins”, for example, may be unknown.

In a previous blog, Laura has outlined the obligation of an estate trustee to identify the beneficiaries of an estate with tips on how an estate trustee may conduct his/her “reasonable inquiries”.

As a tip for will drafting solicitors, Ian Hull suggested during the program that it will be helpful to include the known occupation and location of a beneficiary on the face of the will (e.g. Doreen So, lawyer, City of Toronto).

The Ontario Office of the Registrar General may also be a helpful resource to estate trustees as it is responsible for issuing birth, death, and marriage certificates in Ontario.

Thanks for reading.

Doreen So

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