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  • Writer's pictureErin Watson, J.D.

Smooth Estate Administration: Understanding the CRA Clearance Certificate

In the world of estate administration, one crucial document can make all the difference – the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Clearance Certificate. At E is for Estate, your trusted estate company based in Whitby, ON, we're here to break down the essentials in an approachable and educational manner.

woman in a white suit with a pencil at her desk

So, what is this certificate all about? Simply put, it's a document from the CRA confirming that all taxes owed by the deceased or their estate have been settled up to a specific date. Now, let's dive into why it matters and how it impacts the estate administration process.


Why You Need It


Picture this: you're an Estate Trustee getting ready to distribute assets to beneficiaries. To steer clear of potential personal liability for any lingering tax debts, it's strongly recommended to obtain a clearance certificate before making those final distributions.


When to Apply


Timing is key. The Estate Trustee should apply for the clearance certificate after filing all necessary tax returns and before initiating any final distributions. Keep in mind that the process can take up to 120 days. To avoid delays, make sure your application materials are complete and accurate.


Exceptions to the Rule


women doing estate planning

Not every estate requires a clearance certificate. If the estate is still ongoing or if there are ample funds to cover outstanding tax debts, you may have some flexibility. However, if the Estate Trustee is also the sole beneficiary, they can choose to access funds without a clearance certificate. But, and it's a big but, this decision comes with the responsibility of assuming personal liability for any unpaid taxes.


At E is for Estate, we understand that the world of estate administration can be intricate. That's why we're here to guide you through it, providing professional and friendly assistance at every step.



erin Watson, Estate Planner, Estate Lawyer, Whitby, ON

For more insights on the CRA Clearance Certificate or any other estate-related matters, reach out to our E is for Estate team. We're here to make estate administration not only understandable but also a smooth and worry-free process for you.


Contact Us HERE. Erin Watson, J.D. Founder, E is for Estate

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