Choose your executor carefully

Dollars and Sense

Choosing an executor for your estate seems simple enough. A trusted son or daughter, your spouse or maybe a close personal friend are all likely candidates. But, are you doing them an honour or saddling them with a burden? Individuals give a lot of thought to making out their Will. They should do the same when choosing an executor.

The executor named in your Will is your proxy. He, or she, or they assume all the financial and administrative duties of winding up your estate and see to it that what you want to happen with your assets is properly carried out.

It’s natural to want a family member or a close personal friend to be your executor, but it may not be practical for the following reasons: people emotionally close to you will be grieving; while a friend or family member may have your complete trust, their ability to manage your estate may be compromised by lack of business or financial experience; someone your same age may not outlive you; or the nomination of one child over another may create hard feelings.

Duties and Responsibilities of an Executor.

Consider some of the financial and legal responsibilities of an executor.

• Register your Will with the provincial court.

• Prepare a complete inventory of your financial assets and liabilities and assume responsibility for them.

• Deal with various government agencies, banks, credit card companies, insurance companies, pension       administrators and so on to finalize and close accounts.

• Meet with your creditors and review their claims on the estate.

• File all final tax returns (there can be several) and pay any capital gains tax owing on the deemed disposition of your estate’s assets.

• Assume control of your investment portfolios, property and business interests not covered by a separate Will or legal agreement and arrange for their sale or legal transfer to beneficiaries.

Clearly, reading the Will and distributing assets to your heirs and beneficiaries is only the last of a series of fiduciary duties. The majority of tasks expected of an executor are administrative. For that reason, an executor out of his or her depth can seriously affect the speed of settling your estate and possibly the value of your estate assets if they are not managed or disposed of properly.

There are several things you can do to ensure you get the best executor possible.

If it’s a family member or personal friend that you want as an executor, first make sure they are prepared to take on the responsibility and are comfortable making such a commitment.

If they live out of town, or if their business or profession won’t allow them the time to devote to your affairs, then it may be wise to have a second choice. Another option is to consider appointing more than one executor.

Your lawyer or accountant or a business partner can bring the necessary business and administrative skills to augment those of a friend or family member. Keep in mind you’ll need to establish how to resolve disagreements affecting the estate.

Another possibility is to arrange with a Trust company or law firm that specializes in estate administration to be designated as your executor. In complex estate matters this may be the best course of action. Compensation for their services is usually based on a percentage of the value of the estate.

Finally, don’t leave your executor with a lot of detective work to perform. Your Will, insurance policies, public and private share certificates, investment records, mortgages, legal and business agreements should be stored in a safe place with its location and a duplicate set of keys made accessible to the executor(s). And make a list of your key business and financial advisors, their names, telephone numbers and areas of responsibility. They can be key resources for your executor as he settles your affairs.

If you need help in estate planning, some financial institutions can arrange an Estate Planning Advisor to work with you. You can’t be your own executor, but you can see to it that trusted and qualified people who are familiar with your financial affairs can be working together to ensure your beneficiaries and heirs are provided for exactly as you wish.

 

 

 

 

Jim Grant, CFP (Certified Financial Planner) is a Financial Advisor with Raymond James Ltd (RJL). The views of the author do not necessarily reflect those of RJL. This article is for information only.  Securities are offered through Raymond James Ltd., member CIPF.  Financial planning and insurance are offered through Raymond James Financial Planning Ltd., which is not a member CIPF. For more information feel free to call Jim at 250-594-1100.

 

 

Just Posted

(PQB News file photo)
Fireworks report highlights enforcement challenges for Regional District of Nanaimo

Director: ‘I just think it’s wasting everybody’s time’

Terry Mazzei next to a truck after it was struck by lightning, with him inside, on Wednesday afternoon, June 9. He walked away from the incident without injury and the truck sustained only mild damage; a blown front tire and newly broken gas gauge. (Wendy Mazzei photo)
Nanoose Bay man walks away unscathed after lightning strike

VIDEO: ‘We like to think that his dad was watching over him’

Douglas Holmes, current Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District chief administrative officer, is set to take on that position at the Regional District of Nanaimo come late August. (Submitted photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo’s next CAO keen to work on building partnerships

Douglas Holmes to take over top administrator role with RDN this summer

This young fledgling white raven was spotted in the Coombs area on May 16. (Mike Yip photo)
Expert says 2 sets of parents producing rare white ravens in mid-Island area

One of the iconic birds is currently recovering at wildlife centre after being rescued

Flowers planted along Highway 19 in downtown Parksville. (Submitted photo)
City of Parksville plants more than 15,000 annual bedding plants

Residents encouraged to take flower photos and post to social media

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read