Friday, August 12, 2011

Separate Corporate Properties Wills

If you own shares in a small business corporation, you may wish to consider the merits of a separate Will to deal with those shares apart from your other assets. Rarely do private corporations require a "probated Will" when a shareholder dies because the other shareholders and directors are usually family members or close colleagues who are well aware of the parties involved. This is different from institutions like banks that have very rigid policies around releasing money and other assets of a deceased individual. They require a "probated Will" or, in Ontario, a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee with a Will. When a Will is submitted for probate, there is a court fee or probate fee which applies. The fee is calculated based upon the value of all of the assets that flow through the Will. So if your privately held corporation has value, that value could flow though a separate Will and would not be subject to the probate fees, saving your Estate money. Certainly something to consider and canvass with your lawyer.

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