When writing a will, the testator (the writer) needs to name an executor. But what, exactly, does an executor do in Canada? Executors carry out the provisions of a decedent's will. But it's not always easy and it can be emotionally exhausting, so it's important to choose the right person for the job and to discuss it beforehand with the person to ensure he or she would be up to the task.
Choosing the right person to look after the handling of assets is a large part of successful estate planning. Executors are those (there can be more than one) who will ensure the last wishes of the deceased individual in Ontario are carried out. It's a duty that requires both time and decision-making skills. It's important to ask an individual whether he or she would be willing to act as executor instead of simply naming the person in a will.
Making the decision to take a loved off life support is perhaps one of the most emotionally fraught decisions family members will ever have to make. Ontario residents on life support, without powers of attorney, living wills or fiduciaries could end up having the government make end-of-life decisions for them. Those decisions could come from the Consent and Capacity Board, which is an independent medical review panel mandated under Ontario's Health Care Consent Act.
Most people know what an executor is. But when it comes to the term "fiduciary", it's likely many Ontario residents don't have a clue what the term means. In estate planning, a trustee is the ultimate fiduciary.
Of all estate-related decisions, choosing an executor is one of the most important. If you choose the wrong person -- someone who turns out to be untrustworthy -- your life's savings could be squandered, and your loved ones could be badly hurt, emotionally and financially.
Administering a trust comes with many responsibilities, but the general duty of a trustee is to account for and manage property for beneficiaries.
While for many people family is the most important thing in life, it can be difficult sometimes to idealize family dynamics. Every family is different, and when life is shaken by the loss of a loved one, sometimes family members experience bitter conflict for a number of reasons.
Have you been appointed as an estate trustee in Ontario? Are you unfamiliar with or overwhelmed by your administrative obligations? If so, you are not alone.
Creating a will is an essential part of estate planning, and not taking this basic step can prove extremely costly for the estate -- not only in terms of unnecessary loss of assets, but also in terms of heart-rending family conflict. Additionally, when a person dies intestate -- that is, without a will -- provincial laws determine who will be estate executor and how estate assets and debts will be distributed, and this manner of distribution is often not in the best interests of the family.
It is an increasingly relevant issue in modern estate planning: how to distribute (or otherwise deal with) one's digital assets. And by "digital assets" we mean anything from pictures on your Facebook page to online investments and electronic banking.