It’s no secret that COVID-19 has added fuel to the housing market fire, driving listing prices to unprecedented amounts both in Waterloo Region and across Canada. Everyone seems to be either loving it or hating it, depending largely on whether you’re buying, selling, or just watching your home value soar with glee.
“More than twice as many homes sold in Kitchener-Waterloo in May 2021 compared to the same month last year.”The Kitchener-Waterloo Association of Realtors
There is another important group of people that are being impacted by this housing market boom – Canadian Executors. With home values fluctuating by the month and stories of people getting double their listing price being featured in the media, the decision of when to list the estate property and for how much has never been more stressful.
Estate litigation disputes are unfortunately quite common in Canada. They occur when someone takes issue with the way estate administration tasks are being handled by the executor, such as the division of personal assets.
We anticipate that estate disputes will only become more frequent as our population in Canada continues to age. By the year 2031, 23% of Canadians will be over the age of 65 – almost 10 million people.
Are you prepared to be an executor? It’s a role most people will have to undertake in their lives.
As an executor of a will, it’s fairly common to be faced with the scenario of selling estate property to family members, like a family cottage.
Typically, the amount that the land, home, cottage, or condo is sold for is administered amongst the beneficiaries in portions dictated by the will.
But it isn’t always that simple.
Being the Executor of a Will is a very important job, and one that most Canadians will have to take on at some point in their lives (whether they like it or not.)
As the Executor, you may know that you’re responsible for closing the estate and tasks like arranging the funeral and selling the family home.
What you may not know is that as the Executor, you’re also financially and legally responsible for the estate. That means that if anyone has a problem with the way you’ve handled the estate funds and assets, you could be sued.
So just what is Executor Liability Insurance? It’s the protection between you and the risks that come with your role.
An executor in Canada takes care of closing someone’s estate when they pass away, but what happens when there is more than one executor named in the will? This is called having joint executors,and it usually happens when a parent chooses more than one child to take on the role. Why would you have more than one executor of a will? Doesn’t that make it more complicated?
Many people know what an executor is, but very few actually realize there’s a laundry list of estate administration tasks that come with the role.
Being an Executor is the miserablest, rottenest, nastiest job that you never applied for.” Jim Kibble, Founder of Ontario Estate Consulting Solutions Inc.
“Nothing short of a nightmare.”
This is how both parties of a recent 7-year long estate battle described their experience to The Toronto Star.
Terry Dooley, a semi-retired accountant from Toronto and the executor of the estate, was defending himself alongside the estate trustee against claims made by a relative of the deceased.
The cost of this estate battle totalled a combined $1 million in legal fees and seven years of their lives.
Are you 100% certain you’ve thought of everything you need to cover in your estate plan? Children, real estate, pets, financial assets, business succession plans, and charitable donations are the tip of the ice berg.
You need to close gaps in your estate plan now before it becomes a huge financial and legal problem for your executor.
It’s a big mistake that you may not even know you’ve made – you’ve forgotten to add a beneficiary to your RSP or RIF.
When you’re setting up an RSP (or RIF) OR transferring funds from an RSP to an RIF, you need to triple check the paperwork and make sure your beneficiary is properly named or transferred from the previous account.
Every year brings new technology to make our lives easier and more efficient, but as we all sign up for electronic billing, social media accounts, and financial planning apps, it makes estate planning in Canada more complex.
If you or a loved one were to pass away suddenly, consider these questions:
- Does anyone have your social media passwords?
- Does your significant other know all of the apps and accounts you use for online banking, investing, taxes, and budgeting?
- Does anyone have access to your subscription services like Netflix, Spotify, or Disney+?
- Is there a record of any cryptocurrency you may own, like Bitcoin?
- Do you own an eCommerce store like Etsy or Shopify? Does anyone have access and is there a succession plan for managing it?
Some people are beginning to plan ahead by using password storage solutions such as Passpack, but many Canadians are still not even considering the fact that their Executor could be locked out of very pivotal accounts with essential information.