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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Two steps to transferring real estate from an estate

I'm often asked about the mechanics of certain transactions under an estate. Probably real estate gets more questions than any other type of asset. In this post I want to describe the two basic steps that are involved in taking a piece of real property from an estate and selling it or transferring it.

Let's say that when Amelia dies she owns a house. Nobody else's name is on the title. Her executor, Sam, reads the Will and finds that he needs to transfer the house to Amelia's nephew. The first step Sam takes to deal with the house is called transmission. The property is being transmitted from Amelia to Sam as executor (NOT Sam personally). The Grant of Probate needs to be obtained first to take this step.

Sam completes a document called a Declaration of Transmission and files it at the Land Titles Office with some supporting items. Once the Land Titles Office processes it, they give Sam a new title, which shows that the house no longer belongs to Amelia, it belongs to the estate. The title will actually show as "Sam, executor for estate of Amelia". While the property is in the name of the estate, the executor is responsible for keeping it insured and secure, and paying the property taxes.

Now Sam can take the second step, which is called transfer. Sam will prepare a document called a Transfer of Land, again with supporting information and fees, and file that at the Land Titles Office. Once this is processed, the title will be in the name of Amelia's nephew and Sam will no longer have any control over the property.

The transfer could, in other situations, involve selling the property to someone outside of the estate. In this case, there is still a Transfer of Land used.


  1. In other situations, The transfer could involve selling the property to someone who belongs outside of the estate. In that sort of a case, there is still a Transfer of Land used.

    Improve Canada

  2. A very good and informative article indeed. It helps me a lot to enhance my knowledge. keep sharing.
    Jeffrey T. Angley, P.C.


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