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  • Sea to Sky Law

To be or not to be - an Executor?

If a person has been named in a Will to administer an Estate then men are called an Executor and women Executrix. There can be more than one person named either together so there has to be joint decisions about the estate or named in succession so there is a replacement if someone is not willing or able to administer the estate.

If there is no Will then someone has to apply to the court to become the estate Administrator. The administration is done in accordance with the law and the terms of the Will. The basic duties and tasks involved in an estate administration exist even if there is no Will and the estate legislation dictates.

Before the beneficiaries can receive their inheritance specified in the Will, the Executor must find and secure all the assets of the estate then verify the true debts claimed against the estate, and confirm who are the beneficiaries. Often the biggest creditor is the tax collector so the Executor must file the final tax return and obtain a Clearance Certificate from CRA. The Executor can be personally liable if the beneficiaries are given their inheritance before all the creditors are paid.

Since there is a lot of work involved in administering an estate, the court will allow a year to complete the tasks before hearing applications by impatient beneficiaries. Everyone should consider the time and tasks before accepting responsibility for an estate.

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