If you have been appointed as an estate trustee in Ontario but are unsure of how to manage all of your duties, then you are not alone. Many trustees and executors feel this way, especially after the death of a loved one.
At Hagel Lawfirm, we help estate trustees fulfill all of their administrative obligations with regard to various kinds of property, assets and debts. A mistake in estate administration can result in confusion, delays and heartrending disputes among family members, and we help our clients avoid these negative outcomes. Following are some of the duties that we are prepared to help executors carry out in estate administration.
- File an application for Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee With a Will, or file an application for Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee Without a Will
- Obtain and read the will and codicil
- Obtain the deceased’s birth and death certificates
- Gather the deceased’s previous income tax returns and prepare current returns
- Create an inventory of assets and valuable property
- Gather mortgage and loan statements
- Evaluate property
- Identify, locate and notify beneficiaries
- Gather car, home and life insurance policies
- Notify insurance companies and fill out related claims
- Advertise for creditors
- Pay any outstanding bills
- Calculate various expenses, including funeral costs, debts, taxes and gifts
- Confirm that all taxes have been paid by obtaining a Clearance Certificate from Canada Revenue Agency
- Transfer any registered accounts
- Sell or transfer vehicles
- Arrange for a real estate sale or property auction
- Payment of gifts
- Determine the cost of probate and pay any fees
The list here is not exhaustive, and many executors seek help from a lawyer with knowledge of estates and fiduciary duties. A relatively recent rule change in Ontario also increases the duties of executors.
For more on the services Hagel Lawfirm offers to estate trustees, please see our overview of Probate and Estate Administration.