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Choosing the Executor

The executor is responsible for administering your estate, arranging your funeral, proving the will, liquidating the estate, paying debts, settling your income tax, accounting to the beneficiaries and, finally, distributing the assets as set out in the Will.

Choosing the right executor is a critical decision. Your executor must keep accurate records and act in a timely and even-handed manner. The executor should be available for an extended period of time as the average estate takes 6-12 months to finalize. Be sure to discuss this responsibility with your potential executor as it is a time consuming job. An independent executor can often resolve conflicts among siblings or disappointed relatives. Some people choose a notary, accountant or trust company if they do not have family close by or they suspect there may be a family conflict of interest.

An executor is entitled to be paid up to 5% of the gross value of your estate, depending on the complexity. However, you can stipulate a specific amount in the will instead. If you are interested in having us act as your Executor or alternate Executor, please call to arrange a meeting to discuss your needs.

Read article Choosing the Right Executor

What we will need to prepare your will:

  • Legal name (and aliases) and address for yourself, executor, and beneficiaries
  • A brief description of your assets
  • Items or specific sums of money you wish to leave to individuals or charities
  • How you want to distribute the balance of your estate (often referred to as the residue)
  • If a beneficiary should predecease you, indicate who you would like to receive that portion
  • If a minor child is a potential beneficiary, indicate who the trustee will be for the child
  • If you have a minor child, indicate who the guardian of the child will be
  • If you have a child who is receiving disability benefits please discuss this with us as there are ways to protect that child’s inheritance
  • Information on burial, cremation, pre-arranged plans or requests.
  • Information about registered assets such as private aircraft, pleasure craft and corporations

    If you have a large amount of AIRMILE points be sure to add your spouse (or child) on as an authorized user of the account and give them the access codes. In the event of your death or incapacity, the points can be accessed through the phone or internet. If you do not do this, the policy of most plans is that the beneficiary has to actually BUY BACK the points making them almost worthless.

          See the Will and Power of Attorney Questionnaire