** A reminder, however, that the following information regarding estates is not considered legal advice and is general information only. You should contact a lawyer registered to practice in your province to properly advise you. ***
Q: I am the Executor of the estate of someone who has passed away. What do I do?
In a nutshell, the Executor is responsible for many things, including but not limited to:
- Locating the Will, if any
- Burial/Service arrangements
- Financial affairs (paying bills, receiving assets)
- Contacting beneficiaries
- Probating the Will (if required)
- Filing income tax returns
- Distributing the estate as per the Will
Most estate files that come to us involve us taking on those responsibilities (save for item 6) on your behalf as the Executor to save you time and stress.
Q: How long does it take to wrap up an estate?
Each estate is different.
The time it takes for beneficiaries to receive any money from the estate varies from several months to several years depending on the size and complexity of the estate.
Q: What is Probate?
Certain institutions require a Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration in order to let the Executor deal with estate assets.
In order for the court to issue the Grant, the Will must fulfill certain criteria (to be valid) and the Executor must perform specific tasks and swear specific Affidavits. Usually it takes months to be able to get to the point of Probate application.
Q: May I charge a fee for acting as Executor?
The Trustee Act limits the amount of remuneration to:
- 5% of the gross aggregate value of the capital of the estate;
- 5% of the income earned during the administration; and
- an annual “care and management fee” of 0.4% of the average market value of the assets.
Q: Can a Will be challenged?
Yes, in some instances a Will can be challenged.
Vancouver, BC V5T 1W2