Executor carries a heavy load

  • November 3, 2019

An executor is a person named in a Will to deal with the deceased’s estate after they die. 

That estate includes any assets owned by the deceased such as land, a house, money, investments and personal items. The executor’s job is to gather the assets, pay the debts of the deceased and divide what remains among the beneficiaries named in the Will. 

Here are some of the items on the to-do list for the executor:

  • To determine that a Will is valid, probate may be necessary. Probate is a legal process that determines the legitimacy of the Will and helps administer the collection and distribution of assets. This may require legal assistance.
  • Once the executor has obtained legal authority to distribute the estate, they must pay all debts and expenses, including funeral expenses and all taxes.
  • A list of assets and liabilities must be drawn up, including their value at the date of death. 
  • Open an Estate bank account into which the financial assets of the estate are deposited. An interest-earning  investment account may also be opened to keep the estate’s assets earning money before final distribution. Keep close track of all expenses and income connected with the estate.
  • Notify all asset holders: bank, investment advisor, insurer, etc. As well, notify anyone with whom the deceased had regular expenses to cancel accounts such as credit cards, utilities, landlord, subscriptions, health care (home care), cable, Internet, telephone, insurance. 
  • Notify Service Canada regarding CPP survivors benefit, Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement.
  • The executor is responsible for filing taxes on behalf of the deceased. You may also want to apply for a tax clearance certificate from Canada Revenue Agency ensuring the estate is free from any future tax claims.

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