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 Insurance? It’s the protection between you, the Executor, and the risks that come with the 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 executorsand 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.
Many Canadians wish they had bought cryptocurrency as the value of a single BitCoin rose from $1,229 to $17,618 throughout 2017 (in Canadian dollars). Everyday investors have begun to dive into the Bitcoin craze to make their fortunes even though the cryptocurrency has received criticism financial experts around the globe.
Canadians who plan for the day when they must pass on their estates face a quiet fear that many of us don’t acknowledge for most of our lives. It takes courage to follow the necessary steps to ensure that their legacies survive as intended.
That leaves us asking the question should Executors have unlimited liability while grieving?
Have you ever considered the amount of time and attention many people spend organizing, pre-planning, or writing down their preferences for their funeral?
It’s a very important statement for some people, but for many others, it is done simply to minimize the emotional discomfort and potential tension that final arrangements can create within the family.
But you can’t help but wonder, what will happen after my funeral is over? Is my family prepared to handle the rest of the job closing my estate?