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Kris Racine

7150 Hawthorne Dr. Unit 104
Windsor, ON, N8T 3N3

Phone: (519) 974-6688
Toll Free: +1 866-973-4846
Fax: (519) 974-7192

What is an Estate Freeze?

Probate is a legal process where a court confirms the authenticity of a will. Probate is required if any third party is involved who needs court approval before taking instructions from an executor.

For example, financial institutions do not normally release assets of an estate to an executor without this proof. To probate a will, the executor needs to submit the original will, a list of assets and property in the estate and an application form to the court.

After court approval is obtained, the executor can distribute assets in accordance with the terms of the will.

Strategies to Avoid Probate

Probate fees must be paid out of the estate to the provincial court for issuing letters probate. Here are some strategies to avoid or reduce probate fees:

  • Name beneficiaries for your RRSPs, RRIFs, and GIAs.
  • Register assets in Joint Tenancy with Rights of Survivorship.
  • Gift assets prior to your death.
  • Invest in "estate friendly" investments (annuities, segregated funds).
  • Name an adult as beneficiary of life insurance policies/annuities.
  • Set up a living trust.
  • Set up a spousal trust in your will.
  • Convert personal debt to corporate debt.
  • Set up a private holding company in a low probate province.

Mutual funds are offered through Manulife Securities Investment Services Inc. Insurance products and services are offered through Seguin Financial Group Ltd. Seguin Financial Group is a trade name used for both mutual fund & Insurance business activities. Banking products and services are offered through referral.