Modernizing Ontario’s Justice System, Probate Edition: Filing by Email
An exciting announcement (for those in the field of wills and estates) came out of the Superior Court of Justice on October 6, 2020. There has been an amendment to the Province-wide Consolidated Notice to the Profession, Litigants, Accused Persons, Public and Media which provides for the electronic filing by email of probate applications, supporting documents, and responding documents with the Superior Court of Justice.
The email address for the court location in which the materials will be filed can be located here.
With regard to filing by email, the amendment provides the following guidance:
- The application form and supporting documents (affidavits, consents, proof of death, etc.) should be submitted by email only;
- Original documents filed in support of the application (i.e. wills, codicils etc.) and certified copies must be filed in hard copy by mail or courier to the SCJ location where the application was filed or provided at the court office;
- Estate administration tax payments and any filing fees must be sent by mail or courier to the SCJ location or provided at the court office;
- Certificates of Appointment of Estate Trustee will be electronically issued and delivered by email to the address provided by the applicant; and
- Applicants must complete a new Information Form (located in the consolidated notice which is linked below) and email it to the court together with the probate application.
Probate applications filed prior to October 6, 2020 can be resubmitted to the court by email, which will allow Applicants to keep their place in the original queue while providing for the ability to receive electronic issuance of the Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee.
The amendment does not apply to estate litigation documents, which should continue to be filed through the Civil Submissions Online portal.
For further details on the amendment, including the new Information Form, and the SCJ’s specific requirements regarding the form of emails when filing for probate by email, please see here.
It appears that this amendment will not only provide for the streamlining and ease that comes with access to electronic filing (especially in a COVID-19 world), it may also bring the possibility of having applications from higher volume court locations processed by staff in lower volume court locations to assist those that may be currently experiencing backlog.
Thanks for reading, and happy filing!