There is presently no “succession duty” or “death tax” in Ontario. Some American jurisdictions and the United Kingdom do however have succession duties which would be applicable to the value of assets located in that jurisdiction. In most cases, assets you own jointly with another person will pass to the surviving joint tenant or joint account holder and will not have to be administered as part of your estate under your Will. Similarly, named beneficiaries on insurance policies or pension benefits will receive the proceeds of these assets and they need not pass through the administration of your estate.
Depending upon the nature of the property comprising your estate at the time of your death, your Executor may be required to apply for a Certificate of Appointment With A Will (probate) in order to administer your estate in accordance with your Will. It will be necessary for your Executor to estimate the value of your estate excluding joint property. The Province of Ontario charges an application fee for probate based upon your Executor’s reported value of your estate. These fees are currently calculated as $5.00 per $1,000.00 of the estate’s value up to $50,00.00, and $15.00 per $1,000.00 value above $50,000.00. Ontario’s probate fees are the highest in Canada. For example, on an Estate valued at $1,000,000.00, the fees in Quebec would be approximately $100.00; the fees in Alberta would be $400.00; in all other Provinces except Ontario, the fees would be $3,000.00 -$6,000.00 and in Ontario, they would be $14,500.00.
There is also liability for income tax on income earned prior to death and capital gains tax liability on investments owned at the time of death.
Please Note: This information is not intended to contain advice specific to your situation. There are no cookie cutter solutions. After all, you are reading this information on the internet. Your situation is special and unique and you must be guided by specific individual advice from your Lawyer, Certified Financial Planner or Accountant.