Facing the duties of an executor of a will can be overwhelming. We have put together a list to help. The summary below is not intended to be all-encompassing and does not cover any further duties that may be involved should complications arise with the estate but it will give you a good foundation of the basics. Oliver’s Funeral Home encourages you to consider the advice and counsel of an attorney.
If you require further assistance or have questions please give us a call at 780.532.2929 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
We will help guide executors of wills through the process, professionally and patiently.
Duties of an Executor
- Locate and review will
- Deal with intentions as to donation of organs, cremation or burial
- Contact and/or retain lawyer for advice and assistance
- Contact life insurance company to help cover immediate expenses
- Give notice to beneficiaries regarding the contents of the will.
- Locate and protect assets
- Protect business interests
- Collect valuables
- Open estate bank account
- Ensure all property is insured
- Assemble and value assets (e.g., real property, furniture, bank accounts, securities, business interests, jewelry)
- View safety deposit box to determine contents
- Determine if there are any agreements that apply to the assets (e.g., buy-sell agreement, Shareholders Agreement)
- Determine if there is property located out of the province
- Apply for Canadian Pension Plan Benefits
- Notify Blue Cross and Alberta Health Care
- Order death certificates if required
- Cancel credit cards; obtain final statements
- Redirect mail
- Cancel subscriptions, memberships, etc.
- Arrange for the transfer of jointly held assets
- Assist lawyer in preparation of documents to apply for a Grant of Probate
- Contact lawyer and Public Trustee if minors are involved
- Determine with lawyer applicability of legislation (e.g., Family Relief Act, Matrimonial Property Act)
- Advertise for creditors
- File tax returns; obtain clearance certificate
- Pay taxes, debts, funeral expenses, etc.
- Prepare an accounting of the administration of the estate
- Determine if any matrimonial agreement might affect the distribution of the assets
- Defend or commence lawsuits as necessary
- Convert assets to cash where appropriate
- Determine your fee and obtain approval from the beneficiaries or by court order
- Prepare and have all beneficiaries sign a release
- Distribute the assets of the estate
Note: Funeral expenses do not have to go to probate (most banks will pay the account(s) from the deceased’s bank account).