There is a streamlined process in Ontario for the probate of small estates (valued at under $150,000). As of last month the Application for a Small Estate Certificate asks, in cases of intestacy, for the Applicant to declare that they "have carefully searched for a will of the deceased and was unable to locate a will."
Searching the Canada Will Registry is a powerful step every small estate should take to carefully search for the deceased's will.
Carefully Searching the Canada Will Registry
To submit a search query, fill out this form with all the necessary information, and click submit the search. Our system then automatically matches that search against the database of over 260,000 registered wills. Once a search is successfully submitted, you will receive a Search Certificate detailing the parameters of your search. The Search Certificate serves as your proof of completing meaningful due diligence.
If a matching will exists, the law firm will contact the searcher independently within 30 days. We alert the law firm that registered the matching will and provide them with the information they need to get in touch with the searcher.
Get Started with the Canada Will Registry
The Canada Will Registry helps law firms manage their will vaults and receive alerts if someone is looking for a will in their possession. This function helps with carrying out effective due diligence, carefully searching for a will, and allows for lawyers to efficiently manage client information.
If you're using Will Builder to create Wills and Powers of Attorney, you can use the Export Data to Will Registry feature to create a spreadsheet file to complete a mass registration of your Wills onto the Canada Will Registry. More features are coming soon to make it even easier to register your wills.
Importantly, lawyers can register their will indexes without having to obtain additional client consent forms. Firms can register their estate planning documents one at a time or all at once by uploading the information in a spreadsheet. Only information about the document is required: name of the testator, when they were executed, and their current location.
Get in Touch
Want to see a demo or get your firm set up on the Canada Will Registry? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.