The Benefits of Choosing a Professional Executor for Your Will

man with blonde hair in blue button up shirt sitting with woman with brown hair. they are reviewing their wills with a lawyer

Posted by heritagelaw on Mar 17, 2022 in Blog, Wills & Estate

When it comes to planning and preparing a will, you know you will have to appoint someone to take care of your estate and wishes when you are gone.

The most important rule of choosing an executor is to choose someone you trust. However, there is often a lot of “importance” placed on this role and it may be hard for you to choose one person to take on this responsibility.

Likewise, you may be worried about burdening your loved ones with estate administration tasks.

Fortunately, there is another option when it comes to choosing an executor for your will. In this article, we’ll look at the role of the executor and the benefits of appointing a professional executor to handle your estate.

What is an Executor?

If you have a will when you die, the executor is the person who is legally responsible for undertaking the administration work to ensure your wishes are fulfilled. 

This includes tasks such as:

  • Filing your final tax return and paying any owed taxes.
  • Contacting insurance policies to determine coverage.
  • Canceling benefits and applying for posthumous benefits.
  • Paying out debts and obligations.
  • Taking inventory of the estate and determine value.
  • Applying for a grant of probate.
  • Taking possession of your home and valuables.
  • Acquiring a valid death certificate.
  • Distributing the estate to your beneficiaries.
  • And more!

Being an executor is a huge undertaking and most often people will choose their partner or their child for this role.

But is this the best choice for the executor of your will?

Again, it’s a huge responsibility to place on your loved ones. However, you do have the option of appointing a professional executor who is usually an experienced estates lawyer.

Doing so can put your mind at ease and offer the following benefits:

The Benefits of Choosing a Professional Executor:

1. Reduced Stress

As we mentioned above, being an executor is a serious role and the burden can sometimes be too much for a grieving friend or family member.

If the responsibility of dealing with the legal process becomes too much for your appointed executor, the estate may never be dealt with at all. It can be a lot of pressure to place on an individual.

However, appointing a solicitor to execute your will alleviates your family and friends from the stress of this task

2. Expertise

A professional executor is called “professional” because they are highly trained and experienced in executing estates.

They have all the necessary knowledge to know what steps to take and what forms need to be submitted.

They also have the legal know-how to deal with the estate efficiently and correctly so that there are no mistakes when it comes to taxes, investments, and assets. 

A friend or family member may become overwhelmed and confused with the process. A professional executor is accustomed to these procedures and can have them completed quickly.

3. Impartiality

It’s unfortunate but disputes between family members and friends can happen when it comes to the division of an estate and these arguments can cause issues with the estate’s administration.

Oftentimes, emotions and grief can interfere with legal proceedings and it may take longer than necessary to deal with the estate. 

A professional executor, on the other hand, is non-partial and fair. Their only job is to ensure that the estate is administered according to your will and wishes. They work in the best interest of your estate and beneficiaries.

4. Ensures There is an Executor

There are many instances when an executor may not be available to execute your will. If you forget to update your will if an appointed executor passes away before you, this can cause delays and issues when administering your will.

Also, appointing a friend or family member as an executor does not guarantee that they will fulfill their duties. If they are reluctant, probate rules will determine who will act as your representative and this could be someone you would not choose.

By choosing a professional executor for your will, you can rest assured that someone suitable will accept that position and be available to execute your will.

5. Liability Protection

If the executor does not deal with the estate correctly, they can be held personally liable for issues such as shortfalls in the estate funds – even if it was an honest mistake.

Appointing a friend or family member exposes them to potential fiduciary liability which could lead to a significant financial burden should a mistake be made. If your executor is not familiar with the legal duties and financial implications of executing a will, this is entirely possible.

Having a professional execute your will removes this fiduciary duty from your loved ones and protects them from financial liability.

6. Cost-Effectiveness

Many people believe that appointing a professional executor will cost a lot of money.

However, with the complexities of administering an estate, family members and friends often end up seeking the advice of a professional (and paying for it).

Most of the time, professional executors will charge the same for this service as any other service they provide.

Therefore, it costs no more to have a professional executor than it does for your family and friends to pay for the assistance in filing applications, taxes, and fulfilling other duties associated with your estate management.

Let Us Take Responsibility for Your Estate

As professional executors, Heritage Law strives to ensure that your wishes are fulfilled and your estate is properly handled.

We proudly offer estate administration and planning services, so we understand the intricacies of executing a will. Our team of professionals has the expertise to handle your estate in a way that is impartial, comprehensive, and efficient.

Give us a call at our South Edmonton office (780-436-0011) or contact us online for more information about appointing an executor for your will.

You can also check out our Will Preparation Form to help you get started on planning your last will and testament.