Executor Of Will
Executor Of Will

Executor Of Will

The Responsibilities Of Executor Of Will

Unexpected tragedies happen to every family. Any individual can succumb to serious illness or death.

Yet as difficult as these situations can be, there are responsibilities that must be taken over to ensure that the individual who has suffered has their estate looked after.

For people who have to take on those responsibilities, it can be an overwhelming experience as they are already dealing with the shock of tragedy and grief as well. Many need to ask themselves, “So I’m the executor of Will, what does that mean?”

Amy M. MacAlpine, a Wills & Estates lawyer with Hummingbird Lawyers LLP, has over 16 years of experience. Recently, she put together the “Little Black Book of Probate” which looks at the administrative process for when a person applies to the court to be appointed as an Executor of Will.

Her booklet includes a detailed to-do list for settling an estate, the definitions of important terms that someone would need to be aware of moving forward and details of what is included in an estate and how it should be looked after.

With her experience in many unique pre- and post-death matters, as well as estate planning for complex high net worth families, MacAlpine is an authoritative voice on the matter of estate distribution and probate.

“I understand family loss and the challenges faced upon someone’s passing,” MacAlpine noted, “During a time of mourning, there are arrangements to prepare, papers that need to be completed and many financial tasks that need to be resolved. It can all be overwhelming and exhausting.”

Executor Of Estate

MacAlpine explained the depth of what needs to be resolved, “Your ‘estate’ covers everything that you own individually at the time of your death. Your car, bank accounts, clothes, jewellery, and business interests. If you own it alone, it is part of your estate.”

This begins to show just how much there is to take care of when the time comes to do so. Someone needs to be appointed to help resolve all of these outlying issues, and that person is called an executor or estate trustee. This executor is in charge of everything from securing personal documents and valuable items to cancelling insurance and transferring vehicle ownership.

Executor Of Will

“[The executor] is the appointed person in charge of the estate and the distribution of the estate. However, if no wills have been created by an individual, then Ontario’s Succession Reform Act directs who is able to apply to become the executor of the estate as well as who the beneficiaries will be.”

Another question that arises from death, is the process called probate. MacAlpine explained, “It is the administrative process for when a person applies to the court to be appointed as the executor and obtains a ‘Certificate of Appointment’ in order to administer the estate.

“After obtaining this certificate, the executor of Will then collects all of the assets, pays all of the debts, prepares final accounting, prepares tax returns and then distributes what is left to the beneficiaries.” Of course, this is a high view answer. It is a general definition as MacAlpine said, that it is non-specific, and non-exhaustive. The formality of probate is not always required.

Will Lawyer Toronto

Becoming An Executor Of Will

Becoming an executor of Will during at time of mourning can be overwhelming, but laying out all of the required tasks can make things a little easier, and certainly less stressful. There is plenty that needs to be taken care of and organized. Knowing what needs to happen during the probate process, and knowing your responsibilities is essential in seeing through the settlement of your loved one’s or significant other’s estate.

Why do you still need a Certificate Of Appointment Of Estate when the Will names the executor?

The need for a Certificate depends on the nature of the assets the deceased left behind.
Assets such as real estate, for example, unless a narrow exemption applies, may not be transferred from the deceased to a beneficiary in Ontario without a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee. A Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee is a document issued by the court that appoints someone as the executor and gives them the authority to manage and distribute the estate of a person who died.
There are some assets that may be distributed with the Will alone. 
Finding experienced and reputable lawyers in Toronto and lawyers in Vaughan is made easy, with Hummingbird Lawyers LLP’s two locations. Choose the location most convenient to you, and our staff are ready to assist you with your legal matters.

If you require further assistance, we would be happy to set up a consultation, in person or by phone. 

If you have questions about Executor Of Will, please contact:

Tracey Jones, Law Clerk
Email: info@hummingbirdlaw.com
Phone: 905 731 1911

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Matthew Whittemore is a freelance writer and editor who is working alongside Hummingbird Law. Starting as an intern with the firm in 2017, Matthew has become one of the voices for the firm's corporate digital content.

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  1. Avatar photosays: Heidi

    Please help she said that she spoke to a lawyer and they have told her that she should get me to pay through the estate account she said she was going to split the money between the 4 of us but she won’t even pay the funeral
    It states on the will to be divided 4 ways

  2. Avatar photosays: Heidi FALZON

    Hello my self and my sister are both executors on my fathers will My sister has become mentally incompetent. She is still able but creating a lot of problems with my younger sister who now is beneficiary of all of my fathers life insurance and his TSFA. There is no money in dads estate account maybe only 3500 the funeral is 11,000 my little sister has received a check and it’s more than enough to cover the funeral but she won’t pay it she’s saying that myself being g executor I have to pay thru the estate account

  3. Avatar photosays: Jeremy Skinner

    Hello my father passed away a few years ago without a will. Me and my brother liver in bc. Who can we contact to be the executor of his estate on our behave ?. Ty