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Joint with right of survivorship
November 3, 2023
6:23 am
Bill
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Agreed, notwithstanding land registry rules and procedures, an executor could not pocket and keep the money from the sale, the beneficiaries would have recourse, so to me that's not owning the property.

November 3, 2023
9:38 pm
Norman1
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HermanH said
So, what does happen?

What happens with real estate is similar to what happens with bank accounts.

Surviving joint owners apply to the land titles office to delete the deceased joint tenant from the owners of the property. Application needs to be notarized. By signing the application, the suviving owners implicitly support the deletion.

Executor of the deceased sole owner of the property applies to the land titles office to have the property ownership transfered to the executor. Executor needs to provide the order from a probate court in the province that the person is executor for the deceased owner's estate in the province. That could be the grant of probate order when there is a will or the letters of administration order when there is no will.

If the grant of probate or letters of administration is out of province, then the foreign order will need to go through a resealing process by a probate court in the province to formally recognize the foreign order in the province.

November 3, 2023
9:51 pm
Norman1
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Loonie said
You may be right, Norman, but, as I know nothing of who you are or your qualifications, I remain unconvinced that the executor is the legal owner. It may be convenient for the land registry to say so, and of course it will be the executor who signs all docs related to sale, as this gives them a name to deal with. Estates are not persons and don't have signatures, so executors make decisions for them and sign on their behalf, but this doesn't make them owners. If there are taxes due, the land registry will provide the executor's name, but the exec will surely bill the estate as the legit owner.

A lot of times, people appoint their lawyers as executors. I doubt any lawyer would allow themselves to be put in the position of 'owning' such a property.  

That could not be further from the truth. Trusts are not handled the same way as corporations.

Yes, the lawyer appointed executor does become the legal owner of the property. That's how trustees, like executors and nominees, work. The trustee becomes the legal registered owner of the asset.

As legal owner of the property, the municipality will bill the executor for the property taxes. Not material that the executor pays the tax bill with a cheque from an account holding funds eventually for the beneficiaries.

November 3, 2023
10:12 pm
Loonie
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I'm not sure why you are on to corporations and trusts.

However, if an executor is a trustee, as you seem to imply, then he/she is not an owner. These are two different concepts, and thus there are two different words to name them.

November 4, 2023
10:25 am
Norman1
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They are not different concepts. By being a trustee, the executor or nominee is the legal owner of the asset.

What makes a legal owner also a trustee are obligations from a side agreement, like a will or a trust declaration. The legal ownership is not what makes the diffference.

November 4, 2023
10:09 pm
Loonie
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Seems to me those very wills are precisely what ensures that the executor is NOT the owner.
If executors are being labelled as owners, then this is very sloppy on the part of whatever authorities do so.
Perhaps there are some bureaucracies that insist that everything has to have an owner in order for that bureaucracy to function. Since estates don't have one (only beneficiaries could possibly have a claim to ownership - of their share), they assign this to the executor.
Common sense dictates that the executor is not the owner.

I am reminded of the kerfuffle about whether the costs of probate were fees or taxes. They were widely labelled as fees, especially by investment guys, and erhaps people were claiming them as costs somehow. I no longer recall exactly why the fee proponents were so determined, but ultimately the Supreme Court had to decide - and deemed it a tax, not a fee.
I doubt the Supreme Court has yet ruled on whether an executor is the owner of an estate. If and when they do, I will accept your opinion, but not before.

For most practical purposes, this is semantics and not really worth arguing about, but I sure wouldn't want any executor to get the idea they own the estate they are overseeing.

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