You’ve been chosen to be the executor of someone’s will – now what?
So, you’ve been chosen to be the Executor of someone’s Will – maybe a loved one or maybe a friend.
Cause for congratulations, perhaps?
It is an honour to be asked, however, the responsibilities of an Executor are very important and can be very extensive. It is not like taking up a new sport or a hobby, where you can take your time and practice until you are good at it.
As Executor you will need resources to help you; professional support services or the advice from someone who you trust that has acted in the capacity AND a good checklist that you can reference to ensure that you don’t miss any key aspects of your responsibilities.
Choose an Executor – And choose wisely.
Remember, some of our most critical life decisions to be made affect outcomes after we die.
CLICK HERE for a printable version of the Executor Checklist
Phase 1Immediate Steps
- Locate and review the Will or any other supporting documents regarding funeral, burial, etc.
- Make proper arrangements that follow the deceased’s wishes
- Approve organ donation if applicable
- Secure assets (home, business, cars, etc.)
- Arrange for the care of children and/or pets
Phase 2The Following Days
- Obtain proof of death, or death certificate
- Cancel credit and debit cards
- Cancel all government cards (driver’s license, passport,health card, SIN)
- Cancel all subscriptions and membership cards
- Cancel benefits such as CPP, OAS, pensions, etc.
Phase 3The Following Weeks
- Contact and meet with an estate lawyer
- Complete list of the deceased assets
- Review the Will and supporting documents with the beneficiaries
- Ensure proceeds from RRSP, TFSA, life insurance, etc. are paid to the estate or the designated beneficiaries
- Contact deceased’s creditors to arrange payment of debts
- Notify banks, financial advisors, accountants, insurance
- Apply for government death benefit
- Notify utility companies
- Arrange for payment of recurring expenses
- Start making a list of the deceased assets
- Review any legal actions in which the deceased was involved
- Apply for probate
- Collect debts owing to the estate
- Sell / distribute assets as directed by the Will
- Maintain meticulous records of all actions taken on behalf of the estate
- File outstanding tax returns
- File terminal tax return
- File estate tax return
- Obtain a tax clearance certificate
- Apply for executor compensation if applicable
- Distribute residual estate assets
- Obtain releases from beneficiaries
Questions about Stark & Marsh Wealth Management Services? Reach out to Candace Gelleta our Wealth Management Advisor directly by completing the contact form below.
Candace Gelleta CFP®, RRC®
SENIOR WEALTH MANAGEMENT ADVISOR
Candace has been actively involved in financial planning since 2014. She is a Registered Retirement Consultant RRC®, has a Financial Planning diploma from the Canadian Institute of Financial Planning, and has completed her Certified Financial Planner CFP® certification through FP Canada.
Candace works with Stark & Marsh clients to build a financial plan that considers Financial, Insurance, Retirement, and Estate needs. She works closely with the Stark & Marsh accounting and tax advisor to ensure the complete financial picture, including tax implications, are contemplated.
Stark & Marsh offers a variety of comprehensive financial planning services to best serve your needs. Together with your Accountant, our Wealth Management team will work with you to ensure your short and long-term goals are at the forefront during the planning process.