Having the job of executor for your loved one’s estate can be arduous at times. Before you take on this role and agree to estate administration duties, you may find it helpful to know what you could be up against. There may be one pressing issue attached to the estate or several depending upon the life circumstances of the person who has made the will – known as the “testator.”
One of the greatest potential problems
Family dynamics are complicated, and the death of a loved one often brings the claws out. Besides that, many families don’t just consist of a mom, dad and kids anymore. There are more and more blended families and common-law situations today. In these scenarios, a person’s will may be especially complicated, which can make the job more taxing on an executor – especially if family members are arguing over the will.
Are the assets complex?
The more complex the assets are, the more likely an executor is to be presented with a challenge. Whatever the testator did for a living, the executor will be mirroring it. For instance, if the testator was a business owner, the executor figuratively becomes a business owner. This may be difficult for an executor who doesn’t have that specific type of experience. Administering a straightforward estate can take between 12 and 18 months, while one containing complex assets can take much longer.
There are additional issues that may complicate estate administration, such as:
- There are minor children involved
- There are beneficiaries who have addiction or who spend frivolously
- There are disabled beneficiaries
It takes a great deal of time for estate administration in Ontario. Being an executor is often not for the faint of heart, and those who are asked to do the job should seriously consider what is involved before saying yes. The process can be quite confusing, and an executor may find it helpful to consult a lawyer who is experienced in estate planning law.