Mary Jane Saunders, Wills/Estates Department
If you have been named as the executor/personal representative of an estate you will quickly realize that taking on such a responsibility can involve a great deal of work.
Listed below are some of the general duties and responsibilities of an executor:
- Attend to the funeral arrangements
- Locate the will
- Retain a solicitor for advice on such matters as: probate, dependants claims,transfer of assets or disputes with beneficiaries
- Determination of assets and liabilities
- Secure and value assets
- Arrange for continuity of any businesses
- Ensure adequate insurance coverage
- Determine who the beneficiaries are and inform them of their interest in the estate
- Obtain Grant of Probate/Administration (if necessary)
- Pay all debts
- Prepare and file any outstanding and final income tax returns and obtain a clearance certificate from CRA
- Pay all legacies set out in the will
- Maintain investments, trusts and/or estate as directed by the will
- Prepare accounts for beneficiaries
- Final distribution of estate assets
The responsibilities that an executor will be tasked with will vary based on the assets, obligations and family situation of the deceased person. When you are considering who to appoint as an executor or when you are considering whether to act as an executor yourself, keep in mind the items listed above and try to assess the amount of work that will be involved.
This article is meant to be for information purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice or opinion. If you have any further questions please consult a lawyer. Many of the statements in this blog post are general principles which may vary depending on each person’s situation.