What does an Executor do?

Posted by heritagelawoffices on Sep 1, 2016 in Blog, Wills & Estate

businessman-holding-empty-sheet-of-paperWhen a person passes away and leaves a will, an executor is named to take responsibility for the intentions and requests of the deceased. While that sentence may sum it up succinctly, an executor’s job is anything but– close attention to detail, flexibility and a willingness to make difficult choices are just some of the things asked of an executor during the settling of an estate. Read on for a rapid fire list of some of the ins and outs of executing a will.

  • Filing the deceased’s final tax return and paying any owed taxes;
  • Reviewing, honouring or cancelling lease obligations;
  • Securing business interests and assets, possibly arranging for interim management or long-term inheritance;
  • Consulting insurance policies to determine coverage;
  • Cancelling existing benefits and applying for any posthumous benefits (ie: Canada Pension death benefits, life insurance, etc.);
  • Paying out debts and obligations;
  • Taking inventory of all assets and determining value;
  • Addressing claims against the estate;
  • Retaining legal advice and applying for grant of probate, if necessary;
  • Notify all necessary parties of the death;
  • Taking possession of the deceased’s home, valuables and mail– re-keying of locks or notifying a landlord may be required;
  • Acquiring a valid Death Certificate;
  • Documenting all assets, liabilities, income and expenses for beneficiaries;
  • Distributing the estate after procuring releases from all beneficiaries.

The above list may seem long and intimidating– but take a deep breath: that may not be all that is required. Executors undergo a complex process from start to finish and may experience further difficulty or complication along the way. If you are named an executor, ensure you are up to the task by consulting with the experts at Heritage Law. You may be in a difficult place in your life, but we are here to guide you safely through this challenging time.