All About Estates

Advertising for Creditors Just Became Easier in Ontario…Officially!

Last year, a fellow blogger and colleague blogged about “NoticeConnect”, a service to advertise for creditors, which has been thought to be sufficient protection for estate trustees in Ontario. Last month, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in the Mills v Dale judgment approved this service as an appropriate method to notify creditors and afforded liability protection under s. 53(1) of the Ontario Trustee Act (“Trustee Act”) to the estate trustee of the Estate of Mrs. Dale.

In accordance with the standard precaution of advertising for creditors before distributing an estate, in order to obtain protection from personal liability under s. 53(1) of the Trustee Act, the estate trustee, Mr. Mills, took an unusual approach and decided to advertise for creditors on NoticeConnect.

Unlike the law in some other provinces, such as British Columbia, the Trustee Act does not specifically outline the method for advertising to be used. As a result, historically, practitioners have conventionally followed a 1907 precedent that suggests advertising in local newspapers where the deceased resided.  However, this mode of advertising now proves to be a more expensive and less effective method at reaching creditors than advertising online.

Mr. Mills sought to obtain a definitive ruling on his choice of advertising method and, fortunately for him, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice approved this service as an appropriate notice to creditors and entitled him to the liability protection provided by s. 53(1) of the Trustee Act.

It is unclear whether this ruling extends to other online services at this time, but as more practitioners begin to use online services, like NoticeConnect, in the future, printed newspaper advertising may eventually be rendered obsolete.

About Brittany Sud
Brittany Sud is a member of the Trust, Wills, Estates and Charities Group at Fasken, Toronto office. Brittany is developing a broad estates and trusts practice with a focus on planning and administration matters. As part of her practice, Brittany assists high net worth clients, entrepreneurs and professionals with Wills, powers of attorney, domestic contracts and trusts. She has experience developing and implementing cohesive estate plans that reflect the financial objectives and short and long-term goals of clients, including advising on probate planning, family business succession planning, asset protection strategies and disability planning. Brittany’s estate administration practice includes preparing applications for probate and administering the Canadian estates of non-residents. Outside of the office, Brittany enjoys playing softball and tennis, travelling and cooking. She is a dedicated volunteer of the United Jewish Appeal, Jewish National Fund, One Family Fund and Baycrest Foundation. Community Involvement • Host, Baycrest Foundation - Game Night for Baycrest, 2015 • Chair, Pitch for Israel Softball Tournament, 2014-2016 • Vice-Chair, United Jewish Appeal Young Lawyers Leadership Campaign Canvassing Team, 2016 Memberships and Affiliations • Member, Canadian Bar Association • Member, Ontario Bar Association - Trusts and Estates Law Section • Member, Ontario Bar Association - Young Lawyers’ Division • Student Member, Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners (STEP) Canada

1 Comment

  1. Sheelagh M

    August 11, 2017 - 3:55 pm

    Any idea about using this in Alberta?

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