In this context, an attorney is someone who has been given the authority to make decisions, either financial or medical, or both, for someone else. This authority is given by making a legal document called a Power of Attorney.

certificate of appointment of estate trustee (CAET)

This is a court certificate that you may or may not need in order to complete an Estate Administration. A CAET is a court document naming the Estate Trustee of a particular estate. A CAET is generally needed when a person has died without a Will, and when a person has died with a Will and also owned property and/or had significant financial holdings.

In order to receive a CAET, an application must be made to the appropriate court and the associated Estate Administration Tax must be paid.

estate administration

An Estate Administration is what we call finalizing a person’s affairs after they pass away. Generally, an Estate Administration is completed in four stages: (1) Initial and Basic Matters; (2) Inventory and Custody of Assets; (3) Payment of Debts; and (4) Distribution to beneficiaries. If the deceased has a Will, this process involves carrying out their wishes, as stated in their Will. If the deceased didn’t have a Will, then we follow the distribution rules set out in the law. In either case, you may need to get a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee.

estate administration tax (EAT)

EAT is the fee paid to the court when making an Application for a CAET. The amount of EAT owing on an estate is based on the value of that particular estate.

Estate Trustee / executor

These are two terms referring to the same role. The Estate Trustee is the person named in a Will or appointed by the court who has the legal authority to deal with an estate.


A legal term meaning someone who has died without having a Will.

power of attorney for personal care

A legal document that delegates decision making authority over health care decisions to another person. This document only operates when the person who made it is incapable of making decisions for themselves.

power of attorney for property

A legal document that delegates decision making authority over financial/property decisions to another person or entity (e.g. a trust company). This document can operate while the person who made it is capable and when they are incapable of making decisions for themselves.


Also called a “Last Will and Testament” is a legal document that states your final wishes. In other words, a Will is the document where you state who will be the Estate Trustee, ‘who receives what’ of your estate (ie. your assets), and who will have temporary guardianship of your minor children.

A Will is one of the most important documents every adult should have.