10 ESSENTIAL EXECUTOR & ESTATE TRUSTEE DUTIES
Appointment of Estate Trustee
One of the most important duties of an Executor is to be appointed as the Estate Trustee to the estate. Before getting appointed as the Estate Trustee, we'll need to determine whether there was a competently drafted and properly executed Will at the date of passing.
Where the deceased passed away with a Will, the personal representative is the named "Executor" within the Will. At all costs, as there can never be two originals, make sure to provide us with the original testamentary document at your earliest convenience. For safekeeping, we will make sure to put it in our fireproof vault.
If there was no Will, legislation will determine who the 'Administrator' to the estate is to be. Being the same hierarchy within the Estates Act, look to this chart.
Where the funeral arrangements were not pre-paid for, the Executor has the authority to make funeral arrangements on behalf of the deceased. Please note, even if there are burial wishes within the deceased's Will, these are wishes and not instructions. Therefore, there is no legislative obligation on the Executor to carry out these wishes.
Proof of Death
After the celebration of life ceremony has been completed, correspond with the funeral director of the funeral home and obtain originals of the Proof of Death. The cost of this should either be free or at a minimal cost. Once obtained, make sure to contact and provide us with at least one original Proof of Death.
Assets Belonging to the Deceased
Taking possession of, preserving, securing and ascertaining all assets belonging to the deceased, at the time of passing. Keep in mind, ascertaining of assets may include inspecting personal papers and personal effects of the deceased, including having a view to locate financial statements, tax bills, income tax returns, and of the like.
Movable Objects Belonging to the Deceased
As the Executor, you may physically take possession of movable objects, such as: vehicles; jewelry; and other items with monetary value, afterwards putting these types of items in a safe and secure place. When it comes to real estate, alongside the physical property, this includes the furnishings, appliances, keys and changes of locks.
Prepare and Inventory
After gathering all movable objects and assets belonging to the deceased, at the date of passing, prepare an inventory of all items. At Red Booth Law, we've done this many times and know what is involved. Even though it is time consuming, we want to make sure the CRA isn't contacting you years from now.
Provide a Value
You will have to inform the Ontario Superior Court of Justice of all asset information belong to the deceased, at the date of passing. We know what best practices are involved in these set of circumstances and will take the time to help you determine the exact amounts and specific figures to provide.
Should the deceased hold title to any property, it would be wise to communicate with the property insurance companies, inform them of the deceased's passing and have the Fire Insurance Policy amended to reflect the same.
Determined How Title to Real Property is Held
Many of our married clients automatically assume title is heldjointlytogether with the other spouse; however, this is a common mistake we see all the time. For instance, at the time the real estate property was purchased, title may have been registered under only one of the spouses names. There is also the possibility of both spouses holding title to the propertytenant-in-common, in which case Red Booth Law will determine how much title the deceased held at the date of passing.
We always tell our clients, as there are an abundant amount of factors contributing to why title is held the way it is, there is a difference between how title is held at the date of purchase and at the date of passing.
Changing of Land Title Records
For greater continuity, Red Booth Law also provides real estate legal services to all of our estate clients. Having access to real estate legal software, Red Booth Law will make sure to represent you and competently transfer the property to either the Estate Trustee's name or a third-party, including any entitled beneficiary.