Previously Asked Questions

The TESTATOR is the person who is writing the will (with the lawyer), the EXECUTOR is the person mentioned in the will who will administer the estate of the deceased by following the wishes expressed in the will.

That would depend on mainly two things:
- first, how far advanced is your estate settlement, and
- are you expecting some challenges with creditors or more importantly beneficiaries?
If you're just starting, executor insurance would provide several benefits that I haven't addressed int the presentation (letter service, will review assistance, identity theft, advertising to creditors) on top of the liability insurance.
If you expect some challenges with creditors or beneficiaries, then you definitely want to get the insurance!

Some of the tools to allow you to transfer assets outside of the will are an financial products that have a named beneficiary (RRSP, TFSA, life insurance, Seg Funds), trusts, and joint ownership.

Yes. The estate is the one who has to pay the tax.
But quite often the beneficiaries consider the estate to be their inheritance, so the more tax has to come out of it, the less they receive.
If you don't care about leaving an inheritance, or maximize the inheritance to your estate, donating it to a charity as opposed to the CRA would be something to consider.

There is no set rule that determines what amount (percentage or dollar amount) the executor can be paid for settling an estate.
The complexity of the estate is obviously a factor in determining how much the executor can be compensated.
The more complex the estate, the higher the percentage.
As for the tax, unless you get the compensation through Executor Insurance, any type of compensation that the executor receives from the estate is taxed, and has to be filed at the time of personal filing. Your accountant should be able to help you calculate what that means.
With Executor Insurance, the executor's compensation is not taxed, and is also not perceived as coming out of the estate for the beneficiaries (much easier conservation then).

Absolutely. In most case, the executor is also one of the beneficiaries. The only times where the executor wouldn't be a beneficiary is when the executor is a third party or a friend (as opposed to a family member).

Sure, as long as the contractors/professionals hired are charging reasonable fees. The job of the Executor is to coordinate and manage all the different stakeholders. Just like a general contractor building your house would hire all the trades and coordinate them, with the help of the engineer or architect.

Yes! The Executor doesn't have any legal rights until the person passes. And as soon as someone passes, the Power of Attorney or Personal Directive is now void.

That should be pretty quick. Depending on the size of the account balances, you might not even need probate. The investments with beneficiaries will by-pass the estate (not the taxes though), so as long as you can get the proper tax filing, the rest should be straight forward.

It really depends on the size of the assets. Banks tends not to release assets without seeing an official document from the courts (probate) stating that you are the legitimate executor and that the will that was use to determine that is valid and the latest.

Depending on the type of assets, you might need some real estate appraisals, some specific appraisals for valuable. All the small stuff doesn't matter much.

It is a lump sum based on the size of the estate. can provide the grid for costs.

Only those who apply for probate get their will probated. It is processed by the courts and can take 6 to 8 weeks, or 6 to 8 months depending on how well the paperwork is filled out.

List of topics for which questions were answered on this page:

  • Executor Insurance
  • Writing a will.
  • Who will pay the tax.
  • Difference between power of attorney and wills.
  • How to liquidate the assets.
  • How to value an item/asset.
  • Is probate required.
  • What does a certified Executor Advisor do.

This section covers questions that were asked during or after live events by our attendees. Depending on the topic, the answers came from the various professionals who are participating at these events as experts. You’ll probably find a lot of your questions already answered here! Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have more questions that have not been addressed here.