Estate Planning and Executor Resources

Our work with you is about more than finances

We are one of the first people our members call during pivotal moments. When you're selling your home. When a loved one passes away. When you’re planning for your child’s education. When you need to take the next step. It’s our privilege to help you.

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Executor Resources

PenFinancial Estate Planning Kit

Executor kit for estate planning

Download our free guide, complete with an executor duties checklist, to help you through the various steps involved in the estate settlement process.

Download the Kit →

Sabrina Spooner, Estate Specialist

Meet our Estate Specialist:
Sabrina Spooner

Sabrina has a long history in the banking industry and offers a wealth of knowledge in her field as our Estate Specialist. .

Book an appointment with Sabrina →

Information to bring to your appointment

  • Two (2) pieces of government-issued identification for each executor
  • Funeral director’s certificate/statement
  • Notarized copy of the Will
  • Funeral invoice to be paid or funeral invoice receipt
  • Safety deposit box keys, if applicable
  • Did the deceased own real estate? Yes/No.
  • If yes, was it registered solely in the deceased’s name? Yes/No.
  • Did the deceased have accounts at other financial institutions? Yes/No.
  • If yes, is the other financial institution(s) requesting probate? Yes/No.

Important information and terms to know


Probate is a procedure to ask the court to either:

  • Give a person the authority to act as the estate trustee of an estate.
  • Confirm the authority of a person named as the estate trustee in the deceased’s Will.
  • Formally approve that the deceased’s Will is their valid last Will.

Probate fees, also called estate administration tax, are fees that are paid to the Ontario government. The amount of the fee is based on the total value of the property in your estate when you die.

When Probate is Required

  • There are no general legislative requirements for when probate is required.
  • It may be possible for the estate to be distributed without probate. Intestacy, and all estates with even the potential of litigation, requires probate.
  • The Credit Union generally requires probate before it will transfer assets in excess of $50,000 from the deceased to the estate or a beneficiary.

Estate Accounts

A Certificate of Appointment (with a Will) or Certificate of Estate Trustee (no Will) must be received and approved before an Estate Account can be opened. Note that if there are two or more executors in the will they are required to act together.

Requests for information from lawyers

We will respond to any requests from solicitors regarding deceased accounts; the letter is usually accompanied by a signed Letter of Direction from the executor authorizing the credit union to release information to the solicitor. We do not provide any information to a solicitor based on a verbal request from the executor. The request must come from the solicitor in writing.

Requests to pay expenses/utilities

Utility bills in the member’s name being paid from the deceased’s personal account (not joint) – currently all utilities, property taxes and other requests for payments (credit cards, rent, and mortgage/loan) are authorized on a case by case basis. Funeral expenses, and probate fees are allowed to be paid without prior authorization.

Meet our Advisors

Discussing finances can sometimes be intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. PenFinancial’s team of Advisors will welcome you with a friendly smile and a solid plan, no matter what your financial situation is. PenFi’s dedicated team of Advisors boasts a wide range of skills, experience, and education to best serve you.

Let’s create a customized plan to help you achieve your financial goals.

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Wealth Management Team

Linda Larouche
Investment Advisor, Aviso Wealth

905-714-1444 x1301

Serving St. Catharines, Welland and Dunnville.

IIROC AdvisorReport →

Margaret Peters
Margaret Peters
Investment Advisor, Aviso Wealth

905-714-1444 x1302

Serving Niagara Falls, Fort Erie and Fonthill.

IIROC AdvisorReport →

Trevor Lagerwerf
Trevor Lagerwerf
Wealth Advisor, Aviso Wealth

905-714-1444 x1304

Serving St. Catharines and Fonthill.

Debbi Tonnies
Debbi Tonnies
Wealth Advisor, Aviso Wealth

905-714-1444 x1306

Serving Welland and Dunnville.

Andrea Bove
Andrea Bove
Wealth Specialist, Aviso Wealth


Serving Niagara Falls and Fort Erie.

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