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QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

What are my Executor Duties in Canada?

what are my executor duties?

So you’ve been made an Executor, but what does that actually mean?

Your Executor duties are quite extensive (it takes about two years to close an estate in Canada) but not to worry, we have a free Executor Guide that can help you every step of the way.

Want a sneak peek?

You can see the complete** list of your responsibilities below.

**This is a complete list of basic executor tasks only. Each estate is different and may require different actions. For example, one testator could be a small business owner and an organ donor while another is not. Be sure to review your duties and their timeline for completion with a legal professional. Don’t have a legal professional? You can find one here.

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Can You Include Pets in Your Will?

Can you include pets in your will?

A growing number of pet-owning Canadians are revising their Wills to include their four-legged family members.

Though the idea may seem a bit bizarre, the reasons for including pets in your will are quite the same as including a child:

  • As a safety precaution should the owners pass away before the pet.
  • To avoid the care of your pet being left to a family member who is not financially capable, especially if your pet has medical requirements.
  • To avoid the future of your pet being unknown and them potentially being put up for adoption or sent to a shelter upon your passing.
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Selling Estate Property to Family Members

selling estate property to family

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.

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Passing of Accounts: The Under Utilized Release for Trustees

by Sarah Shipley
Wills and Estates Lawyer since 2011

The passing of accounts refers to the formal process by which a personal representative, whether Estate Trustee, Trustee, Attorney or Guardian collectively referred to herein as a “Trustee”, presents the estate or trust accounts in the court approved format to the beneficiaries and the court.

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Who Should Be My Executor?

who should be my executor?

“Who should be my executor?” is one of the first and most important questions to ask yourself when you’re making your estate plan or Will.

Planning an estate or preparing a will involves important decision making. Every year, Canadians consider which items to include in their will. Some of these items include choosing a guardian for their children and who will obtain their assets.

However, one of the most important choices Canadians should consider is who they name as the executor to their will or estate plans. After all, this person will be responsible for all financial obligations.

who should be my executor?
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The Cottage Co-Ownership Predicament: Who Will Inherit our Family Cottage?

Relaxing lake-side at the cottage is a classic Canadian past-time, but at the end of the day it leaves many families with the same cottage co-ownership challenge: who’s going to inherit it?

Unfortunately, the sentimental value intertwined with many cottages makes them a common target for estate disputes and conflicts.

So how can Canadians prepare their estate to make sure fond cottage memories don’t fuel a heated legal battle?

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The Executor’s Challenge

executor's challenge

Feature By Marg Bruineman
Canadian Lawyer Magazine


Disgruntled beneficiaries are increasingly prepared to challenge wills, leaving the executor’s challenge of struggling to carry out the deceased’s instructions.

Instructions from beyond the grave can be a difficult thing. As with most things, wills too have limitations.

But how far should he or she go in fulfilling the will?

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What Happens When An Estate Gets Reopened?

what happens when an estate gets reopened?

There is a misconception surrounding ‘closed’ estates and why an estate can never really be closed.

Being the executor of an estate can be a lengthy and tiresome job. Once an executor has paid all of the estate bills, distributed the assets to beneficiaries, and received a clearance letter from the CRA, you’d think your job would be finished.

That’s not always the case. 

So what happens when an estate gets reopened?

what happens when an estate gets reopened?
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The Cybersecurity Risk for Executors That No One Discusses

cybersecurity risk for executors in Canada

Most executors don’t think of themselves holding legal liability as a fiduciary, but there are risks that come along with the convenience of modern technology.

The cybersecurity risk for executors is very real and it presents a large source of potential problems that executors and advisors need to consider.

cybersecurity risk for executors in Canada
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