Role of Executor
The deceased's Will is the legally binding expression of that person's wishes for the distribution of his or her property. Your responsibility as executor or executrix is to administer the estate and carry out those wishes.
As executor/executrix, you control all aspects of the estate's administration. This extends from identifying and protecting the deceased's assets, to distributing them to the beneficiaries. In your role, you are legally accountable to the beneficiaries.
When considering who to ask to act as Executor for your estate, or if a friend or relative asks you to act as Executor for them, consider the following: DUTIES OF AN EXECUTOR
- Locate and review Will.
- Deal with intentions as to donation of organs, cremation or burial.
- Contact lawyer for advice and assistance - retain.
- Contact Life Insurance Company (may be a quick source of money).
- Give notice to beneficiaries re: contents of Will.
- Locate and protect assets.
- Protect business interests.
- Collect valuables.
- Open Estate Bank Account.
- Ensure all property is insured.
- Assemble and value assets (real property, furniture, bank accounts, securities, business interests, jewellery, etc.).
- View Safety Deposit Box to determine contents.
- Determine if there are any agreements that apply to the assets (e.g. Buy-Sell Agreement, Shareholders Agreement, etc.).
- Determine if there is property located out of the Province (re-sealing, tax consequences, e.g. U.S. assets, etc.).
- Apply for Canadian Pension Benefits.
- Notify Blue Cross and Alberta Health Care.
- Order Death Certificates if required.
- Cancel credit cards - obtain final statements.
- Redirect mail.
- Cancel subscriptions, memberships, etc.
- Arrange for the transfer of jointly held assets.
- Assist lawyer in preparation of documents to apply for a Grant of Probate (if required).
- Contact Public Trustee if minors involved (lawyer).
- Determine application of legislation ego Family Relief Act, Matrimonial Property Act (lawyer).
- Advertise for Creditors.
- File Tax Returns - obtain Clearance Certificate.
- Pay taxes, debts, funeral expenses, etc.
- Prepare an Accounting of the administration of the Estate.
- Determine if any matrimonial agreement might affect the distribution of the assets.
- Defend or commence lawsuits as necessary.
- Convert assets to cash where appropriate.
- Determine your fee - obtain approval of the beneficiaries or a Court Order.
- Prepare and have all beneficiaries sign a Release.
- Distribute the assets of the Estate.
- Funeral expenses do not have to go to Probate (most Banks will pay the account(s) from the deceased's bank account).
This summary is not intended to be all encompassing and certainly does not contemplate or include the further duties that may be involved should there be any difficulties or problems encountered by the Estate.
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