In Canada, an executor is someone who is named in a will to carry out the wishes of the deceased person. Typically, an executor is responsible for managing the estate of a deceased person and ensuring that the assets are distributed according to the person’s wishes as specified in their will. In some cases, people may choose to appoint a lawyer as their executor in order to ensure that their estate is managed professionally and in accordance with the law.
Responsibilities Of An Executor
The executor, also known as testator, has a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the estate and its beneficiaries. The executor’s responsibilities include:
1. Probating the will
The executor must apply to the court for probate, which is a legal process that confirms the validity of the will and gives the executor the legal authority to act on behalf of the estate.
2. Gathering and managing assets
The executor must locate and gather all the assets of the estate, including bank accounts, investments, real estate, and personal property. The executor must also manage and preserve the assets until they are distributed to the beneficiaries.
3. Paying debts and taxes
The executor must pay off any debts owed by the deceased, including taxes, funeral expenses, and outstanding bills.
4. Distributing assets
The executor must distribute the assets of the estate according to the instructions in the will. If the will does not provide clear instructions, the executor must distribute the assets in accordance with the laws of the province.
5. Keeping accurate records
The executor must keep accurate records of all financial transactions related to the estate and provide regular updates to the beneficiaries.
6. Communicating with beneficiaries
The executor must communicate with the beneficiaries of the estate and keep them informed about the progress of the estate administration.
Is It Mandatory To Appoint An Executor?
In Canada, it is not mandatory to appoint an executor for your will, but it is highly recommended. If you do not appoint an executor, the court will appoint one on your behalf, which can be a lengthy and expensive process. Therefore, while it is not mandatory to appoint an executor for your will in Canada, it is highly recommended that you do so to ensure that your final wishes are carried out according to your wishes.
Can You Choose A Lawyer For The Role Of An Executor?
Being an executor is a challenging responsibility given a bunch of legal requirements that are associated with the estate area. The executor must adhere to legal requirements such as paying off debts and taxes, obtaining necessary permits, and filing the will with the court.
If he/she is a lawyer, he can better address these issues and also resort to mediation and other dispute resolution mechanisms in case of family disputes or lack of cooperation from the beneficiaries. Also, the people who have immigrated might choose lawyers as their executors of the will because they might not have relatives in Canada.
If you happen to be in a situation where you do not know who to trust with your will whether a lawyer or your relative, then the best course of action in that case is considering a trust company.
Rights Of An Executor
Along with the crucial duties, the executor be it a lawyer, relative, or trust company has certain rights. These are as follows:
a) The right to manage the deceased’s assets
As an executor, you have the right to manage and distribute the assets of the deceased in accordance with their will. This includes managing any property, bank accounts, investments, and other assets.
b) The right to access the deceased’s personal information
You have the right to access the deceased’s personal information, such as their tax returns, financial statements, and other documents that may be required for the administration of the estate.
c) The right to hire professionals
You have the right to hire professionals such as lawyers, accountants, and appraisers to assist with the administration of the estate.
d) The right to receive compensation or reimbursement
Executors are entitled to receive compensation for their services, although this amount may be set out in the will or by law. If the executor bears any expense with regard to the administration of will, then he/she has the right to be reimbursed.
Contact The Lawyers At Ayaz Mehdi Professional Corporation
Overall, appointing an executor is an important part of the estate planning process, and it is crucial to carefully consider all options and consult with legal professionals before making any decisions. If you require any assistance with regard to your estate planning matters, get in touch with our lawyers at Ayaz Mehdi Professional Corporation.
Disclaimer: Kindly note that sending or receiving information through this site does not establish a solicitor-client relationship. Legal matters are fact-specific, and the law is variably changing. The views expressed and the content provided on this blog are general guidelines and cannot substitute for proper legal advice. Schedule your legal consultation by clicking here: Let’s meet!