DIY executor help is here

February 02, 2023 | Leanne Kaufman, President and CEO, RBC Royal Trust


We know there are many executors1 today who need help but don’t know where to turn. In our experience, there are many executors who are not prepared to fulfill the role, which can be daunting—70 to 100 individual tasks that need to be undertaken depending on the complexity of the estate. For many, it’s a big time commitment, and some don’t feel well equipped to take it on, particularly if they are overwhelmed and grieving the loss of their loved one.

In fact, we also know that many individuals cannot afford to outsource this service, yet they still require guidance and support from a trusted source. This need motivated us to launch our own help tool called Artie, the executor helper™—a DIY estate settlement tool for Canadians who are acting as executors for simple estates. With the client experience at the heart of what we do, Artie™ provides valuable information to Canadians in their time of need when they need it through education and resources.

Since 2021, Artie has helped many executors in Canada better understand the estate to be settled and estimate its complexity. Through a comprehensive online questionnaire, Canadians have used Artie’s estate complexity calculator to learn more about their roles and responsibilities in carrying out their loved one’s last wishes, and to prepare and start the estate settlement journey on the right terms.

Artie has evolved to further empower executors with a dynamic guided executor checklist that includes a library of resources, access to prepopulated letters needed during the estate settlement process, and a customized dashboard to monitor progress.

For Canadians who are acting as an executor for a loved one and are settling a simple estate, Artie can help to educate them on all the dozens of tasks that they may need to complete as part of their role and give them the functionality to actually complete the tasks.

Artie does not replace professional legal or tax advice—it can also be used by estate and trust professionals with their clients as a conversation starter, as a discovery tool to uncover their needs and to educate them on executor duties.

I am excited how Artie is helping us redefine the estate administration and settlement experience for Canadians; and that we can help potential executors gain knowledge and find the support they need to get started, for free.

1In Ontario, an executor is called an estate trustee with a Will. In Quebec, an executor is called a liquidator.

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Estate planning