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Estate Litigation Lawyer

So, you’ve been asked to be an executor

On Behalf of | Jun 24, 2021 | Estate Administration

More people are realizing the importance of having a comprehensive estate plan. Such a plan in Ontario means that a testator must choose someone to do estate administration tasks when the time comes. An estate administrator is often known as an executor. Before accepting the role, it’s is wise to have some idea of what’s entailed to make an informed decision whether to accept or to politely decline.

Major responsibilities

Being an executor can be a time-consuming and sometimes confusing role. The task may include any of the following:

  • Locating the will
  • Making funeral arrangements
  • Paying all debts owed
  • Completing a final tax return for the deceased as well as returns needed for the estate
  • Paying estate fees
  • Getting a formal appraisal of any property owned
  • Locating and notifying beneficiaries named in the will
  • Putting out a notice to creditors, informing them that the testator has passed away
  • Dividing the estate according to the instructions laid out in the will
  • Giving the beneficiaries financial information regarding the estate
  • Having the estate probated

Value of all assets

An executor is also responsible for finding and having all the assets of the deceased person valued. Some of these may include:

  • RRSPs and TFSAs
  • Cash or money in bank accounts
  • Real estate
  • Personal item and keepsakes like art, antiques and jewellery
  • Investments such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds and cryptocurrency

The role of an executor in administering an estate is not always an easy one, and the decision to accept this responsibility should not be taken lightly. If you do decide to take on the task, you may find it helpful to solicit information and guidance from a lawyer experienced in estate planning. It may also be wise to confer with a lawyer prior to making the decision to become an estate administrator.

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