Alberta Executor Checklist
The executor, or personal representative, is the person named in a will who will be responsible for carrying out the instructions of the deceased as set out in the will. The executor holds the estate of the deceased on a temporary basis, until the estate’s debts can be paid and the remaining assets can be distributed to the beneficiaries.
The executor can be held personally accountable for any failure to meet their responsibilities to the estate, and so professional help is recommended. Our Alberta wills and estates lawyers may be able to help with an Alberta executor checklist designed for your specific situation.
Checklist of Executor’s Responsibilities
- The executor’s first responsibility is typically to make arrangements for the burial and funeral of the deceased. The costs of these arrangements are paid for by the estate, but they should be reasonable within the context of the estate’s size. The executor can be held personally responsible for excessive funeral costs that significantly reduce remaining assets available for distribution to beneficiaries.
- If the executor is not already in possession of a copy of the will, the executor should locate a copy. If you know you have been named as an executor, you have probably also been informed as to where the will is kept.
- One of the responsibilities of the executor is to identify and locate all of the assets and liabilities of the deceased. The extent of this task will depend on the size and character of the assets. A particularly large estate, or one that contains business assets or real property, may require professional assistance to maintain.
- The executor may need to apply to the court for a grant of probate. Probate is a declaration of the court confirming the validity of the will and the authority of the executor to distribute the estate. Probate is not necessary in every situation. The Land Titles Office requires a Grant of Probate in order to transfer land owned by the estate. Financial institutions may also require a Grant of Probate before they authorize the executor to transfer assets owned by the estate.
- The executor must pay the debts of the deceased from the estate. This includes income taxes for the year in which they died, and any money that the deceased owed to the Canada Revenue Agency from previous years.
- The executor is responsible for locating the beneficiaries of the will and notifying them of the death and their entitlements under the will.
- Lastly, the executor must distribute the assets of the estate to the beneficiaries according to the terms of the will.
In certain circumstances, the executor may be responsible for other tasks, including:
- - applying for death benefits owed to the estate, and
- - informing beneficiaries who will receive an asset outside of the estate (such as a beneficiary of a life insurance policy).
Contact Our Alberta Wills and Estates Lawyers Today For A Consultation
The specific tasks that an executor needs to do, and the timing involved, will depend on the size and content of the estate to be administered. Our Alberta wills and estates lawyers may be able to help you develop a customized Alberta executor checklist. Contact us to book a consultation today.
*Please be advised, the information in this article does not constitute legal advice. It is an introductory overview of a legal topic. For specific legal advice, please contact a lawyer.