Stacy Maurier, Founding lawyer of Estate Connection Law Firm is a member of the Westend Seniors Activity Centre’s, Friends of WSAC business program. Stacy has been a guest speaker here at our centre since 2017, providing educational Toonie Talks on writing Wills, Power of Attorney and Personal Care Directive documents and providing advice to help Executors when dealing with estates.
This is Part Two of her Guest Blog Post – Tips Every Executor Needs To Know!
ARE YOU AN EXECUTOR?
#6 – KNOW THE LAW
- The courts do expect the Executor to know and understand the law when closing an estate.
- For example, If there were loans, gifts or advances given to a beneficiary they must be repaid unless the Will states otherwise. Money given to a child is considered an advance and must be paid back to the estate.
- Look for a HOTCHPOT clause in the Will. This means the loan/advances are forgiven
#7 – NEUTRALITY
You must treat all beneficiaries the same. You cannot provide one person with more information or give them access to the assets because you know them better than the others
#8 – BE REASONABLE
Rule of thumb – Executors should be able to close an estate and start dispersing funds within one year. This is a guideline but can it be extended if there is unclear wording in a Will, a missing heir or a business to wind up. Consider giving beneficiaries an interim distribution. This can help keep them happy until a clearance certificate from the Canada Revenue Agency is received.
# 9 – NEGLIGENCE = CONSEQUENCES
If the court feels you have not done your duties as Executor properly, they can take the following action:
- Court can impose deadlines with specific dates you must complete your duties and may require you to provide detailed accounting that outlines what you have received and spent on behalf of the estate.
- Reduce you Executor’s compensation or remove you as the Executor.
- Make you repay estate funds personally
If you are an Executor need help with handling an estate or filing an application for Probate, make sure to attend Stacy’s presentations here at our centre! Click here to view our Toonie Talk Schedule!