Some of you may already know this from experience – being appointed as an Executor is both a privilege and a burden. During a time that is undoubtedly difficult, navigating the responsibilities of settling an estate can become overwhelming – which is why I believe in talking about it proactively – before it gets emotional.
Last night, we hosted a client event aimed at learning more about what’s involved in settling an estate (whether you are planning for yourself or have been named as an executor) featuring Leanne D. Kaufman, LLB, LLM, our President, CEO and Head of Estate and Trust Services at Royal Trust Corporation.
Leanne explained that acting as an Executor means being responsible for an often lengthy, intensely detailed task list that bears with it not only the burden of ensuring a loved one’s last wishes are carried out, but legal liability as well. Your overall responsibility as an executor is to administer the estate according to the deceased’s final wishes as expressed in the Will and according to the law.
Of surprise to most was the time commitment; it may take about 18 months to settle even a simple estate, and the executor has to complete as many as 70 different tasks and duties. This includes finding and, if necessary, probating the Will, protecting and distributing assets, and paying outstanding debts and taxes. You will also have to prepare a final accounting for the beneficiaries of the estate. All while maintaining your full-time job and current ‘busy’ life.
While I’ll be preparing a full summary for those of you who missed the event, here is a recap of the 5 things you must know if you are an Executor:
To help you further, we have also put together a detailed Executor Kit which includes the Executor responsibilities and duties, a step by step process to settle an estate as well as a useful checklist to aid in the process. If you’d like a copy, just say the word.
With so much going on and information coming at us from every angle, it's sometimes hard to keep your finger on the pulse of what's happening. In an effort to keep you in-the-know and provide you with some conversation nuggets for the weekend, I've compiled the following hit list to fill your conversation pipeline.
Now you are in-the-know with Word on the Street.
Enjoy the rainy weekend,