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Online/Digital Bank Accounts when we pass away
December 4, 2017
9:40 am
frugal lady
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Are we creating a "nightmare" for our estate executor when we pass away with online bank accounts?
I live in Alberta and have a few online accounts whose corporate address is not in Alberta i.e. Hubert and Peoples Trust. When I pass away my Will probated in Alberta will cover my Alberta assets. However, what happens with the online accounts ie are they considered an Alberta asset or an asset held in the province that they have a head office? Would my executor have to get my Will "resealed" in the appropriate province, which would be a "nightmare" in my eyes for my Executor.

December 4, 2017
10:07 am
AltaRed
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I don't know of any instance where "capital" property, where ever it is located, cannot be probated from the province of residence. Brokerage accounts for example are generally HQ'd in Toronto for many banks, or Montreal, etc. as are most bank accounts (your corner Royal Bank for example). The bigger issue would be the proliferation of accounts making the executor's/administrator's task that much harder by having to deal with multiple institutions with certified copies of Wills, Grant of Probate, personal identification, Statements of Death, and ultimately Letters of Direction for disbursements. I've kept the number of my capital accounts minimized for just that reason.

"Real" property can be a potential issue though and it depends on province. And that has to be researched on a case-by-case basis. Google for that information.

December 4, 2017
10:35 am
Doug
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frugal lady said
Are we creating a "nightmare" for our estate executor when we pass away with online bank accounts?
I live in Alberta and have a few online accounts whose corporate address is not in Alberta i.e. Hubert and Peoples Trust. When I pass away my Will probated in Alberta will cover my Alberta assets. However, what happens with the online accounts ie are they considered an Alberta asset or an asset held in the province that they have a head office? Would my executor have to get my Will "resealed" in the appropriate province, which would be a "nightmare" in my eyes for my Executor.  

You raise an interesting question for sure. I have raised this recently just in terms of the number of FIs with which you deal (and thus, I recommend dealing with four or fewer). I don't know what you mean by having to get your will "resealed". My understanding is that the Alberta superior courts would be able to handle probate for all assets of the deceased in Canada, no? The difficulty, as far as I see it, is in having to get certified true copies of your will, additional death certificates, notarized copies of the executor's government-issued photo ID (and/or your ID, potentially), which all adds expense, in dealing with out of province FIs.

Personally, if I were the executor of an estate, I'd make sure I'd take at least half of the maximum permissible fee in the province of the deceased for handling such estates, plus there's all the travel expenses which may be required.

Footnote: we did deal with out of province wills at Canadian chartered bank with which I worked and it wasn't a problem generally, so long as it bore the typical stamp and signature of the presiding judge. One such case, as I recall, had to do with a court order appointing one (or more) of the client's (who wasn't yet deceased at the time) children as a "committee" to formally handle the client's affairs. They'd already a Power of Attorney but I, rightfully in my view, protected their interests when a "fairly new spouse" brought in a "more recent" Power of Attorney despite the client's poor health and questionable mental state. The bank, also rightfully, made the decision not to accept any Power of Attorney and the original PoA(s) sought an order from the court (which I believe was out of province) for a "committeeship," which the bank then swiftly honoured once obtained.sf-cool

Cheers,
Doug

December 4, 2017
11:09 am
Bill
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I don't see this as a big problem for us. While my wife and I have about 35 accounts between us at numerous institutions we generally have 99.9% of our HISA money in 2 or 3 (those offering the highest rates) at any one time. Our executors are also our beneficiaries and we've told them if they want that last $1K spread around all the other accounts we're not using right now go for it, otherwise we have no problem leaving it to the institutions, gov't, whoever wants to take it, just ignore it. All other financial assets are with 2 discount brokers, so they'll get pretty well all our financial assets at maybe 6 places, tops. Like a lot of things in life you can get 98% there with about 50% time and effort expended, don't sweat every last $100.

December 4, 2017
11:22 am
frugal lady
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Doug said

You raise an interesting question for sure. I have raised this recently just in terms of the number of FIs with which you deal (and thus, I recommend dealing with four or fewer). I don't know what you mean by having to get your will "resealed". My understanding is that the Alberta superior courts would be able to handle probate for all assets of the deceased in Canada, no? The difficulty, as far as I see it, is in having to get certified true copies of your will, additional death certificates, notarized copies of the executor's government-issued photo ID (and/or your ID, potentially), which all adds expense, in dealing with out of province FIs.

Personally, if I were the executor of an estate, I'd make sure I'd take at least half of the maximum permissible fee in the province of the deceased for handling such estates, plus there's all the travel expenses which may be required.

Footnote: we did deal with out of province wills at Canadian chartered bank with which I worked and it wasn't a problem generally, so long as it bore the typical stamp and signature of the presiding judge. One such case, as I recall, had to do with a court order appointing one (or more) of the client's (who wasn't yet deceased at the time) children as a "committee" to formally handle the client's affairs. They'd already a Power of Attorney but I, rightfully in my view, protected their interests when a "fairly new spouse" brought in a "more recent" Power of Attorney despite the client's poor health and questionable mental state. The bank, also rightfully, made the decision not to accept any Power of Attorney and the original PoA(s) sought an order from the court (which I believe was out of province) for a "committeeship," which the bank then swiftly honoured once obtained.sf-cool

Cheers,
Doug  

In Alberta "resealing" means that the original (out of province) grant of probate is re-sealed in Alberta. This means that the Alberta courts now give official recognition to the original grant of probate of the out of province will. In Alberta the "resealing" is mostly required when the out of province deceased owned land in Alberta.
Getting certified copies of Probate in Alberta is cheap and Funeral Directors will give you multiple copies of Funeral Death Certificate so those matters do not concern me.

December 4, 2017
12:25 pm
AltaRed
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frugal lady said

In Alberta "resealing" means that the original (out of province) grant of probate is re-sealed in Alberta. This means that the Alberta courts now give official recognition to the original grant of probate of the out of province will. In Alberta the "resealing" is mostly required when the out of province deceased owned land in Alberta

That is indeed the case for 'real' property, i.e. real estate, in at least some provinces.

December 4, 2017
2:04 pm
frugal lady
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I made an inquiry to Hubert on what their requirements were on the death of account holder and they replied promptly:

"We are usually notified of a members passing via the Executor and we will require a probated will before processing any payouts. We will accept probate even if it's from another province, highly unlikely but if by chance none of the other institutions you deal with in Alberta required probate then the executor would proceed with obtaining probate in Manitoba."

Glad to hear that the Alberta probate will be sufficient. sf-smile

December 4, 2017
5:41 pm
Norman1
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frugal lady said
… However, what happens with the online accounts ie are they considered an Alberta asset or an asset held in the province that they have a head office? …

For deposits in a bank or federal trust company, the deposits are where the branch is located and not where the head office is.

This is from section 461 of the Bank Act:

Where debt payable
(2) The amount of any debt owing by a bank by reason of a deposit in a deposit account in the bank is payable to the person entitled thereto only at the branch of account and the person entitled thereto is not entitled to demand payment or to be paid at any other branch of the bank.

Idem
(3) Notwithstanding subsection (2), a bank may permit either occasionally or as a regular practice, the person to whom the bank is indebted by reason of a deposit in a deposit account in the bank to withdraw moneys owing by reason of that deposit at a branch of the bank other than the branch of account or to draw cheques or other orders for the payment of such moneys at a branch other than the branch of account.

Situs of indebtedness
(4) The indebtedness of a bank by reason of a deposit in a deposit account in the bank shall be deemed for all purposes to be situated at the place where the branch of account is situated.

From the federal Trust and Loan Companies Act, Section 447:

Where debt payable
(2) The amount of any debt owing by a company by reason of a deposit in a deposit account in the company is payable to the person entitled thereto only at the branch of account and the person entitled thereto is not entitled to demand payment or to be paid at any other branch of the company.

Idem
(3) Notwithstanding subsection (2), a company may permit, either occasionally or as a regular practice, the person to whom the company is indebted by reason of a deposit in a deposit account in the company to withdraw moneys owing by reason of that deposit at a branch of the company other than the branch of account or to draw cheques or other orders for the payment of such moneys at a branch other than the branch of account.

Situs of indebtedness
(4) The indebtedness of a company by reason of a deposit in a deposit account in the company shall be deemed for all purposes to be situated at the place where the branch of account is situated.

December 4, 2017
5:55 pm
Norman1
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frugal lady said
… Would my executor have to get my Will "resealed" in the appropriate province, which would be a "nightmare" in my eyes for my Executor.

If the financial institution requires it, then the will would have to be "resealed".

Not sure if it would be a nightmare. The executor had taken the will through probate once already. Another trip to reseal would be similar.

Estates are provincial jurisdiction and not federal. A probate court only has jurisdiction within its province.

Newfoundland lawyer Lynne Butler answers a similar question, about someone living in BC with accounts in Alberta, in Where does probate take place if you live in one province but have assets in another?

December 4, 2017
6:03 pm
Norman1
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frugal lady said
I made an inquiry to Hubert on what their requirements were on the death of account holder and they replied promptly:

"We are usually notified of a members passing via the Executor and we will require a probated will before processing any payouts. We will accept probate even if it's from another province, highly unlikely but if by chance none of the other institutions you deal with in Alberta required probate then the executor would proceed with obtaining probate in Manitoba."

Glad to hear that the Alberta probate will be sufficient. sf-smile  

It is good that Hubert won't require the probated will to be resealed in Manitoba.

It doesn't mean all financial institutions will accept an out-of-province probated will.

December 4, 2017
9:29 pm
frugal lady
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Norman1 said:
"For deposits in a bank or federal trust company, the deposits are where the branch is located and not where the head office is."

Yes, in the case of brick and mortar branches, but I'm talking about online/digital institutions who have no "branches" per se.

Norman1 said:
"Not sure if it would be a nightmare. The executor had taken the will through probate once already. Another trip to reseal would be similar."

Well in my opinion it would be a nightmare for Executor to find a lawyer in each province (ie Hubert in Manitoba, Peoples Trust in B.C.) to prepare documents to "reseal" the probate and the extra expenses incurred for that lawyer. There are no "cheap" lawyers.

December 4, 2017
9:42 pm
frugal lady
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Doug said

"Personally, if I were the executor of an estate, I'd make sure I'd take at least half of the maximum permissible fee in the province of the deceased for handling such estates, plus there's all the travel expenses which may be required."

IF the out of province institution accepted a copy of the Alberta Probate, time and expense would be minimal - $10 for certified copy, 1 letter to the Bank sending Probate and requesting a cheque. No travel required.

December 5, 2017
2:32 am
Loonie
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i think it's the uncertainty that is a concern. It might work out this way, or it might work out that way. Policies, and laws, can change, and seem to only get tighter these days. Nobody wants their executors to have to find out the hard way, or at lest most people don't.
So, if I can keep the money where I am, so much the better. I was relieved to be done with Peoples, and they certainly gave me no reason to stay. Will stick with Hubert, for now. I'd like to keep one FI with unlimited insurance. It's a good place for emergency stashing, and you don't have to give it any thought. I'm using it for RSP/RIF "float", a place to put GIC funds that I don't want to roll over, to draw on as needed to plan for taxes etc. It's not a big problem while we're both alive, but could be more of an issue with just one person.

December 5, 2017
6:48 pm
Norman1
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frugal lady said

Norman1 said:
"For deposits in a bank or federal trust company, the deposits are where the branch is located and not where the head office is."

Yes, in the case of brick and mortar branches, but I'm talking about online/digital institutions who have no "branches" per se.

Legally, there is always a branch for the deposit in a bank or a federal trust company. Not sure about a provincial credit union, though.

The branch may not be one that provides teller service. But, for a bank or federal trust company, the branch is where the deposit is situated. The branch also seems to be where many legal notices involving the account or the customer need to be served. This is from section 462 of the Bank Act:

Effect of writ, etc.

462 (1) Subject to subsections (3) and (4), the following documents are binding on property belonging to a person and in the possession of a bank, or on money owing to a person by reason of a deposit account in a bank, only if the document or a notice of it is served at the branch of the bank that has possession of the property or that is the branch of account in respect of the deposit account, as the case may be:

(a) a writ or process originating a legal proceeding or issued in or pursuant to a legal proceeding;
(b) an order or injunction made by a court;
(c) an instrument purporting to assign, perfect or otherwise dispose of an interest in the property or the deposit account; or
(d) an enforcement notice in respect of a support order or support provision.

Notices

(2) Any notification sent to a bank with respect to a customer of the bank, other than a document referred to in subsection (1) or (3), constitutes notice to the bank and fixes the bank with knowledge of its contents only if sent to and received at the branch of the bank that is the branch of account of an account held in the name of that customer.

frugal lady said
Well in my opinion it would be a nightmare for Executor to find a lawyer in each province (ie Hubert in Manitoba, Peoples Trust in B.C.) to prepare documents to "reseal" the probate and the extra expenses incurred for that lawyer. There are no "cheap" lawyers.  

Definitely extra expense. I suspect the Alberta lawyer would be have a BC lawyer and a Manitoba lawyer in mind for such occasions.

December 6, 2017
1:01 am
Loonie
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I suspect the Bank Act needs updating. Just because they refer to a "branch" doesn't mean there is one.

In the interim, perhaps we should all be asking where our online account resides, with reference to the Bank Act. Ask in writing, so that you can rely upon the answer.

December 6, 2017
7:04 pm
Doug
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frugal lady said
I made an inquiry to Hubert on what their requirements were on the death of account holder and they replied promptly:

"We are usually notified of a members passing via the Executor and we will require a probated will before processing any payouts. We will accept probate even if it's from another province, highly unlikely but if by chance none of the other institutions you deal with in Alberta required probate then the executor would proceed with obtaining probate in Manitoba."

Glad to hear that the Alberta probate will be sufficient. sf-smile  

Okay, that's what I thought. Re-read what I said about my experience with HSBC. We had no problems accepting out of province probate. 🙂

Also, for accounts less than $50,000, we just required a certified true copy of the will + death certificate. Even for accounts of less than $100,000, we'd often only require the same (i.e., no probate) but we had to get Branch Manager sign-off. (The Assistant Manager could sign off on up to $50,000 and I think the DVP's sign-off to waive probate was required over $100,000.)

I even had a case a guy died without a will, had a surviving spouse and only a couple thousand dollars to his name, very little of it in his sole account. I made a big "executive decision" (sarcasm!) as a CSR to basically not even require anything more than a copy of the death certificate and I signed off on it. 😉

Cheers,
Doug

December 6, 2017
7:06 pm
Doug
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frugal lady said
Norman1 said:
"For deposits in a bank or federal trust company, the deposits are where the branch is located and not where the head office is."

Yes, in the case of brick and mortar branches, but I'm talking about online/digital institutions who have no "branches" per se.

Legally and technically, yes, but practically, this isn't the case. You can go into any branch in the country and they don't really care.

It's not really much of an issue.

Cheers,
Doug

December 6, 2017
7:09 pm
Doug
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frugal lady said
Well in my opinion it would be a nightmare for Executor to find a lawyer in each province (ie Hubert in Manitoba, Peoples Trust in B.C.) to prepare documents to "reseal" the probate and the extra expenses incurred for that lawyer. There are no "cheap" lawyers.  

Lawyer? A lady I worked with handled the probate for her brother-in-law by herself and she kept going back to the court registrar asking, "is this right?," and eventually got it right. Very little expense other filing fees and/or applicable probate fees. 😉

I plan to handle the probate for my parents myself.

Cheers,
Doug

December 6, 2017
9:14 pm
frugal lady
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Doug said

Lawyer? A lady I worked with handled the probate for her brother-in-law by herself and she kept going back to the court registrar asking, "is this right?," and eventually got it right. Very little expense other filing fees and/or applicable probate fees. 😉

I plan to handle the probate for my parents myself.

Cheers,
Doug  

Yes I have personally probated numerous wills for family and friends and got it right the first time on all of them. However, when I'm gone I know my spouse (who is somewhat computer illiterate) or my kids (who would be intimidated by the paperwork) would just hand it over to a lawyer to take care of.

I'm just trying to "think ahead" a bit.

December 6, 2017
9:31 pm
Norman1
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Loonie said
I suspect the Bank Act needs updating. Just because they refer to a "branch" doesn't mean there is one.

In the interim, perhaps we should all be asking where our online account resides, with reference to the Bank Act. Ask in writing, so that you can rely upon the answer.  

There is always a branch for the account if it is with a bank or federal trust company. Bank Act, subsection 461(1). Trust and Loan Companies Act, subsection 447 (1).

Account statements should have it. EQ Bank has the branch address printed above my address on my monthly account statements.

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