“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.
Recently, we came across an interesting question from Shane D. as to who would be the best person to appoint as an executor. He wondered, “other than a family member, who is the best person to name as the executor of a will?”
In recent cases, some Canadians prefer not to appoint a family member as an executor. This is because the appointment can be quite demanding or that person just might not be qualified.
In either case, Canadians should be sure that the person they choose is ready to take on the responsibility of being an executor.
What does your Executor do?
The list of responsibilities that an executor gains can include, but not limited to:
- Filing a will.
- Notifying banks, bill collectors, government and credit agencies of death.
- Setting up an estate bank account for incoming and outgoing funds, such as bill payments.
- File inventory of assets including, but not limited to: investments, real estate, bank accounts, loyalty programs, life insurance.
- Cancelling items such as driver’s licence, subscriptions, credit cards and utilities.
- Redirect mail.
- Arrange for care of household pets.
- Make arrangements and pay for the funeral.
It’s important to note that there are other duties that come with being an executor. If you are choosing a loved one to be your executor, they should fully understand the complexities and responsibilities required of them.
“Who can I appoint aside from a family member?”
If you decide against appointing a family member to this position, you could choose a trusted friend that’s up to the task. However, choosing a friend as an executor can come with the same complications as choosing a relative.
- Be sure they are fully aware of the responsibilities that they will be taking on as the executor of your will.
- If they still want to make the commitment, they can always hire someone to assist them in order to make the process easier.
- Notify your family members of the friend who will be acting as the Executor so they are aware of your decision ahead of time.
“Can I hire someone to be my Executor?”
In a more professional and experienced capacity, you can choose to hire lawyers, accountants or financial advisors to take on the role.
- This is a good choice if you have financial implications that the average person may find difficult to navigate.
- Professionals will usually charge an hourly rate or percentage of your estate as a payment for the job.
Whoever you choose to become responsible for your estate, you can help prepare them by sharing the free Executor Guide from ERAssure.
- Explanation of terminology
- Common Questions and Answers
- Estate Risk Evaluation Tool
- Step-by-Step Task Checklist