Authority to Sign on behalf of an Estate in Ontario

Cameron J. Kemlp Law - Estate Law, Civil Law, Corporate Law, Lawyer -  Medicine Hat Alberta


Who and when does someone have authority to sign on behalf of an Estate in Ontario? I have heard many conflicting views.


If the Estate is testate, that is, with a Will, the Estate Trustee has power to act from the moment of death. So, a listing could be authorized but the conveyance cannot take place until the Court has issued a “Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee with a Will”.

An agreement of purchase and sale signed awaiting such appointment would be binding upon the Estate.

In the case of intestacy, there is no authority. No one applying has any authority whatsoever. An agreement signed by an applicant would NOT be binding upon the Estate. So, this is far more than a judgment call here. For an intestacy, the Estate will just have to wait. There’s no authority to list either.

With the new estate rules it is taking months rather than weeks for the Court Order. And, Covid delays are impacting with additional months delay.

Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker

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