Tuesday, May 16, 2017     Executor's Choice     General

Understanding your Responsibilities as an Executor Featured Photo

An estate executor – or in Ontario, an estate trustee – is the person or party named in the will of the deceased who has the primary responsibility for the administration of the deceased’s estate.

The executor duties for handling the estate include taking interim possession of all assets, having to probate the estate if necessary, paying probate fees, paying all debts, distributing the assets to all beneficiaries, and filing all required forms in a timely fashion.

The executor has to prepare a complete list of all assets and liabilities, as well as their value at the time of death. This includes cash, securities, jewelry, real estate, and other valuables, such as contents of safety deposit boxes. The executor must account for the estate assets, as well as protect against theft, fire, loss, and any other destruction. If you fail to preserve the assets you may be held liable.

Accountability measures need to be taken, such as filing tax returns, estate balance sheets, filling all necessary court documents, and communicating with local, provincial, federal and foreign governments.

It is your responsibility as executor to discover all documents relevant to the decedent’s estate. This includes searching every box, envelope, safe, filing cabinet, and storage container, and handling each document with concern – ensuring proper accounting of the decedent’s personal and business affects.

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