Real Time Web Analytics


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Can I open an estate account if there is no Will?

If a person passes away without a valid Will, and there are assets and debts to be dealt with, someone must apply to the Court to be appointed as Adminstrator of the Estate. As you can imagine, it takes a while for the family to search for a Will, conclude there isn't one, see a lawyer and bring an application to court.

The weeks or months that pass between the deceased's death and the appointment of an Administrator can be frustrating for the person waiting for the Court Order. There will be pressure from creditors for bills to be paid. There will be a funeral that must be paid for. There may be money arriving from pensions or investments or employment. And of course there will be beneficiaries wanting the estate to move along more quickly.

This set of circumstances may lead the person waiting to be appointed as Administrator in a really difficult position. He or she may be willing and ready to work on the estate, but cannot do anything without the Court authority. If there was no Will and there has been no Grant of Administration, then the would-be Administrator has absolutely no legal authority to spend, deposit, invest or do anything else with the deceased's money.

This means that the Administrator could not open an estate account before being appointed by the Court by a Grant of Administration.

If there were a Will in place naming someone as executor, that would be a completely different story.

While waiting for a Grant of Administration to be issued by the Court, the deceased's next of kin who arranged the funeral may submit the funeral bill (and some other bills) directly to the bank where the deceased had an account. Assuming there is enough money in the deceased's account, the bank will pay the funeral bill directly, without the money ever passing through the hands of the would-be Administrator.

Once the Court has issued the Grant of Adminstration, the administrator can do everything an executor could do, including opening an estate account to deal with the deceased's money.


  1. can you request a private adminstrator to perform as a co-executor in your petition for probate

    1. If you are the only executor named in a will, you cannot add another executor.

      I don't know who or what a private administrator is, so I don't know what to say about that.

      If you want to hire a trust company to act as your agent, you can do so.


  2. What can I do if my biological father passed away with no will but has a common law wife? Am I entitled to any of the estate?

    1. Depending on where you live, the common law wife's rights vary. She may be entitled to nothing, or to the entire estate. Your ability to inherit will depend on her rights. If she is entitled to the whole estate, then obviously you will get nothing. In most provinces, a spouse gets a percentage of the estate, with the rest going to the kids.

      Another thing that may or may not be relevant here is whether you were adopted by someone else. If you were adopted, you no longer have any right to your biological parents' estates.

      I would recommend talking to a lawyer local to you who does estate work.



You might also like

Related Posts with Thumbnails