An Executor is/are the person(s) or entity (a trust company) you appoint in your Last Will and Testament to carry out your wishes, manage your estate affairs and administer estate assets to your named beneficiaries. In Alberta, an Executor is commonly referred to as a Personal Representative.
When appointing an Executor, one needs to keep in mind the many duties and responsibilities placed upon an Executor, a few of which are outlined as follows:
- Arrange for funeral and burial wishes
- Secure all estate assets immediately following death and conduct an inventory of all estate assets and liabilities. Estate assets include items such as real property, personal property, etc. Estate liabilities include property taxes, loans, mortgages, rents, household bills, credit cards, etc.
- Inform others of the death such as banks, employers, utilities, credit cards, Canada Revenue Agency etc.
- Apply for grant of probate, if required. A grant of probate is a court document that grants official authority to the Executor to administer the estate in accordance with the Last Will and Testament. A grant of probate is required to transfer any real property and it is often required by the banks.
- Arrange for an estate account at the bank in order to deal with money paid into the estate and to pay for funeral expenses and estate liabilities.
- Set up testamentary trusts
- Apply for government benefits such as the Canada Pension Plan Death Benefit which is intended to assist with funeral costs, Canada Pension Plan Survivor’s Benefit, Veteran’s Affairs, etc.
- Complete final and terminal income tax returns and request a Clearance Certificate from Canada Revenue Agency
- Once in a position to do so obtain beneficiary releases and administer the estate
If you are thinking of preparing a will or setting up a testamentary trust, SN Law Office is here to help and invite you to contact us for more information.