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What Does an Executor Do?

Your Executor will become responsible for nearly 150 duties after your death.

An Executor* is the person appointed by the testator (the person that created a will) to carry out the provisions in the will and see to the settling of the estate. Asking someone to be your Executor is not an easy task. This person will become responsible for nearly 150 duties after your death, including:

- Checking for insurance on the deceased’s life and property
- Securing the list of the deceased’s property and arranging for the property to be safely stored
- Ensuring buildings are taken care of and that regular snow clearing, lawn cutting and other maintenance occurs
- Ensuring businesses or farms are being run properly
- Notifying the beneficiaries of life insurance or investments; beneficiaries need to contact the company to receive their inheritance
- Checking the Bank of Canada for lost bank accounts
- Notifying Passport Canada, Alberta Registries and creditors about the death
- Notifying all beneficiaries about their interest in the estate

Emotions run high during the execution of a Will. Not only are friends, family (and very likely the executor) mourning the loss of the deceased, there may be surprises in the Will that cause a rift among family members. There may also be debts to satisfy that use up the resources of the estate; for example, unexpected Capital Gains tax on a secondary property, creating a debt that must be paid from the cash or other assets of the estate before the beneficiaries receive their share. This, too, can cause issues among the beneficiaries as they are often unaware of outstanding debts and the estate’s responsibly to settle them before any other distributions are made.

While the job of Executor is not easy, it is an honourable one. Your friend or family member is placing a great deal responsibly in your hands because they trust you wholeheartedly to see to their posthumous wishes.

Undoubtedly, you will have questions and need guidance as the Executor of an estate. Estate Law’s experienced lawyers can guide you through the process and answer any questions you may have. We only deal in Estate Law, making us experts in this field. To learn more about this, or any other legal subject relating to Wills and estates, contact us today at 780-458-8228 for a free consultation.

*”Executrix” is the female term for executorhowever this term is seldom used in today’s modern language, and “executor” has evolved to reference a male or female in this role.