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A. Your seemingly simple question has a historic twist pointing to the possibility of a second will, which makes it difficult to answer.
Let’s start by reviewing probate—what it is and why it exists, along with its relevance to other taxes.
Each province has its own version of probate and I am assuming your husband’s estate will be subject to Ontario probate rules.
What is probate?
Probate in Ontario is really called Estate Administration Tax (EAT), but everyone refers to it and knows it as probate. Probate is required if:
a third party, such as a bank or other financial institution requests it; or
legislation requires it before the executor can deal with certain assets, such as, in your case, real estate.
Why is probate necessary?
Once you have a probate certificate, all third parties, banks and other financial institutions will know the court has validated:
the will as the last valid will of the deceased; and
the executor of the will…