Tag: limited grant
We all know how long an Estate Trustee typically has to wait for a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee With or Without a Will, if filed in Toronto. Sometimes a Certificate of Appointment is not granted for six to eight months from the filing date.
The Court recently expressed its frustration with the frequency of motions being commenced by Estate Trustees seeking to expedite the granting of the Certificate of Appointment. The option of obtaining the Certificate of Appointment on a more urgent basis appears to no longer be available as a result. Apparently, it was not unusual for Estate Trustees to seek to expedite the process when real property of an Estate needed to be sold. The Court does not always agree that the sale of real property cannot wait until the Certificate of Appointment is granted.
Despite the Court’s stance on expediting the granting of Certificates of Appointment, there are special circumstances that would arguably warrant the Court’s intervention. What if an Estate Trustee’s authority is required to manage a certain asset of an Estate such that, if it is not obtained within a reasonable amount of time, the Estate could suffer significant expense?
An option that is available which should be carefully considered (particularly given the Court’s position on expediting the process overall) is seeking a limited grant from the Court for a particular purpose. Historically, this was known as a grant ad colligenda bona, and was limited to particular purposes as well as limited until such time as a general grant could be made (see Charles H. Widdifield, Surrogate Court Practice and Procedure, 2nd ed. (Toronto: Carswell, 1930) at 190).
Today, where the conditions for an appointment of an Estate Trustee During Litigation are not met, and there is a delay in the appointment of an Estate Trustee, a limited grant for the purpose of gathering in and protecting the assets may be sought by way of a motion or application for directions under Rule 75.06 of the Rules of Civil Procedure (see Ian M. Hull & Suzana Popovic-Montag, Macdonell, Sheard and Hull on Probate Practice, 5th ed. (Toronto: Carswell, 2016) at 384).
This option should be carefully considered where the circumstances are truly special such that the Court’s intervention is required on an urgent basis and the Estate Trustee cannot wait until the Certificate of Appointment is granted.
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Last week we blogged on limited grants in the event that the executor is located out of the jurisdiction. There are two other types of limited grants to consider: grants where an original will or codicil is unavailable and administration durante animi vitio. Furthermore, it is important to consider making alterations in grants in the case of an error.
A limited grant may be necessary where an original testamentary document is unavailable or if there will be a delay in the production of certain codicils. The grant may be limited until the time when the original or the codicils are produced. This grant will allow an individual to act as administrator of the estate until such documents can be located. If the original will is with somebody abroad who is unwilling to produce it, it is possible to grant probate pending the receipt of the original. In a case of urgency, it is possible that a copy of an original will may be admitted, limited until the original arrives. If a copy is admitted, an individual must apply to the court by an order for directions under Rule 75.06 of the Rules of Civil Procedure.
Another type of limited grant is administration durante animi vitio, roughly translated as “administration for the use and benefit of a person under a disability”. If a person entitled to a grant of administration was of unsound mind at the time of the deceased’s death, or became of unsound mind after receiving the grant, administration for his or her use and benefit would be granted to someone else until the individual returned to sound mind. If a sole executor or administrator becomes incapacitated through mental or physical illness, the grant can be revoked and administration can be granted to his or her guardian.
If a certificate of appointment has been issued, but there is a defect in the document, it is important to alter or amend the document. If an error is a bona fide mistake and is not of significant importance to require the revocation of the grant, the amendments may be made based on satisfactory evidence. These types of amendments include minor details such as the name of the executor, or the date of death. This will result in the execution of a new bond. When an error is discovered, an affidavit should be filed confirming the mistake on the original and attesting to the correction, and the registrar will then make any changes required. If property is discovered after the grant of probate or administration and was not originally included in the application, the executor or administrator must deliver a true statement of the property verified by oath to the registrar in Ontario. This may result in the individual having to pay an increased surety to account for the extra value of property.
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There are a number of limited grants that are important to consider for succession planning purposes. We have previously blogged about a type of limited grant, a durante minore aetate, which grants administration duties to a guardian if a minor is named as executor of an estate. Other types of limited grants include administration durante absentia and grants to attorneys, both of which deal with administrators located outside of the jurisdiction.
A grant of administration durante absentia is a grant necessary where the person entitled to a certificate of appointment is absent from the jurisdiction. The grant will be effective until the entitled individual returns to the jurisdiction. Today, these grants are made by passing over the absent individual and by appointing a person who the court sees as appropriate in the circumstances. The grant may last for longer than the named individual’s absence from jurisdiction.
A grant of administration durante absentia is usually made by the next of kin pursuant to section 13 of the Estates Act which states:
- Where application is made for letters of administration by a person not entitled to the same as next of kin of the deceased, an order shall be made requiring the next of kin, or others having or pretending interest in the property of the deceased, resident in Ontario, to show cause why the administration should not be granted to the person applying therefor; and if neither the next of kin nor any person of the kindred of the deceased resides in Ontario, a copy of the order shall be served or published in the manner prescribed by the rules of court.
This provision is further governed by Section 14 of the Estates Act which states:
- (1) If the next of kin, usually residing in Ontario and regularly entitled to administer, is absent from Ontario, the court having jurisdiction may grant a temporary administration to the applicant, or to such other person as the court thinks fit, for a limited time, or subject to be revoked upon the return of such next of kin to Ontario
(2) The administrator so appointed shall give such security as the court may direct, and has all the rights and powers of a general administrator, and is subject to the immediate control of the court. R.S.O. 1990, c. E.21, s. 14 (2).
Furthermore, a grant to an attorney may be made if the person solely entitled to a grant as estate trustee with or without a will is out of the jurisdiction. Pursuant to section 5 of the Estates Act, letters of administration, except by resealing, can be granted only to a resident of Ontario. However, the case of Armstrong Estate, Re, 2010 ONSC 2275, held that if a non-resident is applying for a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee with a Will, and the applicant has the consent of a majority of the persons resident in Ontario who are otherwise entitled to apply, and where security is in place, the grant may be issued to the non-resident.
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