There are a number of duties of an Executor/Trustee to a Will. The following points seek to acquaint the reader with the obligations imposed by such an appointment:
- If you know you are named as an Executor to someone’s Will, discuss with that person as much as possible before their decease, to be fully aware of their wishes. Also acquaint yourself with specific information like the whereabouts of the original Will, his lawyer, location of investments or properties.
- Arrange any burial or cremation required and set up dates and places for a celebration of life or funeral.
- Secure the original Will and make a number of copies. Have the lawyer do a Wills search with the province.
- Assemble information on investments and all assets and liabilities of the deceased.
- Obtain the Death Certificate from the Province and have a number of Copies Notarized by the Lawyer for the Estate.
- Open an Estate Bank Account eg. “John Smith ,Executor of Estate of Joe Smith”, for the collection of all monies and proceeds from the Liquidation of the Estate assets.
- Keep detailed records of the expenses related to your work for the Estate.
- If a home is involved, have the locks changed, secure the premises and Arrange for frequent inspections, as well as proper insurance coverage if the home is vacant.
- Gather up all documents that may be needed to apply for Probate at Supreme Court, including birth certificates, marriage certificates, property statements, investments, bank account details, etc.
Take all information to the Lawyer for the Estate along with Will and discuss with Lawyer all details for the Probate Application. This will include names addresses, description and ages of all beneficiaries, and members of family of the deceased.
- Notices to all interested parties must be served, with information about the Estate.
- Once you are appointed as Executor by the Courts, begin liquidating the assets of the Estate into cash to the Estate Account.
- Engage Tax Accountants to file the Tax return for the deceased for the year of death as well as an Estate Tax return and calculate and pay all taxes due, be they income or capital gains.
- Cancel all accounts, including memberships, insurance, credit cards, and provide notice to any other interested parties.
- Apply for Veterans Allowance if applicable, Widow Survivor Benefits, Old Age Security amounts and CPP benefits.
- Cancel the social security number for the deceased as well as Driver’s licence, if applicable.
- Work closely with the Estate Lawyer and Accountant to ascertain the net amounts available for distribution to the Beneficiaries. Determine the amounts due to each member.
- Obtain a Clearance certificate from Canada Revenue Agency indicating no further taxes will be due by the Estate
- Distribute funds to Beneficiaries when they return a signed Release approving your work.
- Pay the invoices for the Accountants and Lawyer, as well as your fees and disbursements