Companion Advisor: Taxes
& Estates |
Estate Planning: Being an Executor
What are your responsibilities and obligations?
named as an executor of an estate is a big undertaking requiring
a considerable amount of time and knowledge. You have been entrusted
to handle the financial affairs of the deceased in their absence
and owe it to them to make sure you know what is required of you.
is a general list of the duties required by you as an executor.
Locate the Will and read it thoroughly for any special instructions
regarding the funeral arrangements.
Assist the family in making funeral arrangements, if necessary.
immediate cash requirements of beneficiaries.
director's statement of death or apply for provincial death certificate.
location of beneficiaries.
|Cancellations and contacts
lease or arrange for a sublet if deceased lived in a rental property.
license, magazine and newspaper subscriptions, cable television,
club memberships and telephone, and request refunds if applicable.
ask Health and Welfare to cancel old age security cheques and Canadian
on outstanding credit card balances and cancel cards.
Post to reroute deceased's mail, if necessary.
cancel outstanding broker's orders.
and bond disbursing agents in order to get them to change address
|Preparative banking business
to and list contents of safety deposit box.
safe storage of valuable items.
and liabilities of deceased by writing to financial institutions,
insurance companies, brokers, employer, and RRSP/RRIF trustees for
review of all investments in portfolio.
determine entitlement to and apply for Canada Pension Plan Death
Benefits, Survivor's Benefits and Orphan's Benefits.
employer to determine any Survivor Pension Benefits or insurance
returns from past years and complete and file any previous outstanding
title documents for property, mortgages, share certificates, bonds,
debentures, and guaranteed investment certificates.
of all real estate, securities, automobiles, and any personal property.
to determine adequacy of coverage and make changes if deemed necessary.
each beneficiary receives a copy of the Will.
Compile a complete
list of assets and liabilities, listing them by their class and
value. Ensure that you include certificate numbers, registration
particulars, maturity dates, interest rates, and payment frequency.
requirements, beneficiary notice, and administrative concerns with
a solicitor or estate professional.
of a solicitor or estate professional, apply for grant of probate
has been granted, acquire notarized copies in order to transfer
solicitor or estate professional register probate on title to real
estate, if necessary.
Keep in contact
with the beneficiaries, reporting on the progress of the estate
administration and provide each with a copy of the complete inventory
of assets and liabilities.
have Advertisement to Creditors published before distributing estate
In order to
transfer securities, complete all powers of attorney and declarations
debt and outstanding claims.
have safety deposit box closed and obtain contents.
closure of all bank accounts, transferring balance to estate account.
If joint bank accounts exist with right of survivorship, supply
financial institution with death certificate and request that they
transfer to surviving joint tenant.
surplus according to terms of the Will.
of securities if converting to cash. Otherwise arrange for the re-registration
and transfer of securities.
transfer or rollover of RRSP/RRIF proceeds.
for details regarding the distribution scheme of assets. If necessary,
discuss distribution of assets in kind with beneficiaries.
or estate professional, review any restrictions or time periods
imposed on the distribution of estate assets.
for debt payments, legacies and interim distributions.
in kind is required, provide beneficiaries with securities and obtain
receipts for them.
with personal effects and obtain receipts for them.
with legacies and obtain receipts for them.
and Service Tax clearances.
If the deceased
held foreign assets, complete and file the necessary tax returns.
file a Terminal T1 Tax Return and any other required returns with
Revenue Canada and request a Clearance Certificate. Note that Terminal
period returns have to be filed by April 30th of the year following
the year of death, or by six months from the date of death, whichever
file a T3 Trust Information Return. This must be filed within 90
days from the year end of the taxation year chosen for the estate.
the Will provides for outright distribution. If so, acquire a release
for distribution and transfer assets or funds to beneficiaries.
Be sure to keep enough funds in a reserve for any outstanding accounts
and debts as well as income taxes.
the Will provides for trusts. If so, arrange for testamentary trusts
and organize an ongoing review of investments. Also arrange a review
to ensure an ongoing compliance with the rest of the terms of the
for approval or passing by beneficiaries and prepare releases.
has been completed, write to beneficiaries to request their approval.
all releases have been received once account approval has been given
beneficiary or court approval, take executor's compensation, maintain
holdback/reserve pending the receipt of clearance certificates,
and distribute and deliver any remaining funds or assets.
need to be audited by the Court, request that the solicitor or estate
professional prepare an application and all necessary notices and
make an appointment.
Apply for a
tax clearance certificate.
that all written cheques have cleared, organize the closure of the
Estate bank account.
Write a detailed
report regarding all aspects of the estate administration and send
it to beneficiaries.
- GETTING ADVICE A will requires
careful planning to ensure all essential matters are covered. It
should also be reviewed periodically and discussed with a qualified
adviser or team of advisers to incorporate any changes in your personal
Note: This list has been compiled
from sources we believe to be reliable and is intended to provide
a general informational guide for estate administration. Actual
requirements may vary depending on location. This guide should not
be construed as income tax or legal advice.
Agents Financial Services Group are not engaged in rendering tax, accounting
or legal professional services or advice. The comments in this article are not
intended, nor should they be relied upon, to replace specific professional advice.
Before acting on material contained herein. Readers should seek advice that
is appropriate to their personal circumstances from a professional advisor.
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