When a lawyer looks at the Province of Ontario’s Parcel Register, one can find an official record of the legal status of any parcel of land in Ontario. Some people take advantage other online services, but those are not legally reliable. There is no substitute for a parcel register operated by the Province of Ontario – Service Ontario. This is all registered under the Teranet system by which the Province of Ontario keeps track of all properties throughout the Province of Ontario.
The magic words one needs to find when looking at the parcel register to determine whether or not a property qualifies for the land titles first dealings probate exemption can be found in the upper left-hand corner under the title Estate Qualifier. If a property qualifies, one needs to see the acronym LTCQ or Land Titles Conversion Qualified. If these magic words are found that is only the first step. The next step is to see the date of the conversion from registry office into land titles, generally the date of the PIN creation date. The third step is to look for any transfers or mortgages after that date effecting the land. If such a transfer or mortgage can be found, then the first dealings exemption has been used up and probate cannot be avoided. A transfer would include one by a personal representative, which almost always is an executor of an estate. What does not trigger the loss is a survivorship application and usually a transmission/land.
If the description beneath estate qualifier is Fee Simple Absolute, then the exemption has been lost and probate must be applied for.
An exotic and esoteric corner of the world that can have very significant cost consequences to our clients. Again, justifying why one needs a qualified Wills and Estates’ lawyer to assist in the administration of an estate.