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Executor Duties

This summary is not intended to be all encompassing and does not cover any further duties that may be involved should complications arise with the estate.

Connelly-McKinley encourages you to consider the advice and counsel of an attorney. If you do have not already retained attorney and require one, please refer to your local Yellow Pages under "Lawyers".

Duties of an Executor*

  1. Locate and review will
  2. Deal with intentions as to donation of organs, cremation or burial
  3. Contact and/or retain lawyer for advice and assistance
  4. Contact life insurance company to help cover immediate expenses
  5. Give notice to beneficiaries regarding the contents of the will.
  6. Locate and protect assets
  7. Protect business interests
  8. Collect valuables
  9. Open estate bank account
  10. Ensure all property is insured
  11. Assemble and value assets (e.g., real property, furniture, bank accounts, securities, business interests, jewellery)
  12. View safety deposit box to determine contents
  13. Determine if there are any agreements that apply to the assets (e.g., buy-sell agreement, Shareholders Agreement)
  14. Determine if there is property located out of the province
  15. Apply for Canadian Pension Plan Benefits
  16. Notify Blue Cross and Alberta Health Care
  17. Order death certificates if required
  18. Cancel credit cards; obtain final statements
  19. Redirect mail
  20. Cancel subscriptions, memberships, etc.
  21. Arrange for the transfer of jointly held assets
  22. Assist lawyer in preparation of documents to apply for a Grant of Probate
  23. Contact lawyer and Public Trustee if minors are involved
  24. Determine with lawyer applicability of legislation (e.g., Family Relief Act, Matrimonial Property Act)
  25. Advertise for creditors
  26. File tax returns; obtain clearance certificate
  27. Pay taxes, debts, funeral expenses, etc.
  28. Prepare an accounting of the administration of the estate
  29. Determine if any matrimonial agreement might affect the distribution of the assets
  30. Defend or commence lawsuits as necessary
  31. Convert assets to cash where appropriate
  32. Determine your fee and obtain approval from the beneficiaries or by court order
  33. Prepare and have all beneficiaries sign a release
  34. Distribute the assets of the estate

Note: Funeral expenses do not have to go to probate (most banks will pay the account(s) from the deceased's bank account).

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