Serving as an executor of an estate for a friend or relative entails many duties and critical responsibilities. An executor of an estate is a person chosen to carry out a decedent's final Will. The executor's primary responsibility is to follow the deceased's instructions for managing their affairs and wishes.
An executor's responsibilities include finding and gathering the estate's assets and protecting and investing those assets. At the same time, they await distribution to beneficiaries, paying off debts and liabilities owed by the estate, filing the necessary tax returns for the decedent and the estate, and ultimately distributing the estate's assets to beneficiaries under the terms of the Will. A closer examination of some of these and other duties is given below.
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Important Role of An Agent for Executors in Mississauga
Identifying the Will
The final Will of the dead must be found by an executor using reasonable diligence. It requires looking through all the locations where the dead stored their documents and records. This ensures that it is the most current Will created, even when a Will has been located.
Funeral and burial arrangements
The executor has the legal right to make funeral and burial arrangements, even if family members typically do it. The instructions in a will regarding the final intentions of the deceased are often honored. Although, they are not legally binding on an executor.
Many jurisdictions' laws mandate that an executor provide a copy of the Will and a notification of the intent to probate the Will to each beneficiary named in the Will. Even if they aren't designated as beneficiaries, these documents must also be given to the people who would have been entitled to a portion of the deceased's estate if they had passed away without a will (i.e., the deceased's next of kin).
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Ascertaining and valuing assets
The executor should also:
● List and appraise all of the deceased's possessions; list and appraise the contents of every safe deposit box;
● Write to banks, trust firms, credit unions, and other financial organizations where the dead person's accounts may have been;
● If the estate is entitled to the proceeds of any insurance policies on the life of the deceased, send claim forms to the insurance providers in writing to request details about such policies;
● Establish if the estate is entitled to any private or public pension benefits or death benefits, and complete and submit the necessary paperwork to receive payment;
● Make inquiries about any registered retirement savings plans, registered retirement income funds, and tax-free savings accounts owned by the deceased.
When assets have been located, the executor must keep them safe until they are sold or given to recipients. Moreover, the executor ought to
● Verify that current insurance policies on real estate, personal belongings, vehicles, boats, and other physical assets are adequate and maintained during the administration of the assets;
● Make sure that the property is regularly inspected;
● Decide how to handle investments and publicly traded assets while awaiting the Court's award of probate, paying close attention to market volatility; and,
● If the dead had a business, make arrangements for its ongoing management.
Debts and liabilities
The executor will also need to evaluate the deceased's documents, and note a power of attorney for property and records. This includes electronic data, and making the necessary inquiries of third parties to determine the deceased's obligations and liabilities.
Tax returns are another responsibility of an executor, who must prepare and submit the proper taxes for the decedent and the estate. Depending on the situation, post-mortem tax preparation could also be a good idea. It could be prudent to apply for tax clearance certificate(s) by the requirements of the Income Tax Act once the appropriate taxation body has examined the returns.
Maintaining accurate records
An executor is accountable for all of the estate's assets, including all receipts and disbursements made during administration, to the residuary beneficiaries listed in the Will (and occasionally to other parties). The right of beneficiaries to see invoices, checks, and other accounting-related documentation exists. A beneficiary may request that the executor have their accounts examined by the Court if the beneficiary is dissatisfied with the accounting.
An executor is a person who carries out a person's final Will. The executor also ensures that the conditions and intentions of the deceased are correctly followed. It also involves distributing the estate's assets, paying any taxes that are owed, and taking care of any remaining debts, all under the supervision of the probate court.
In their last Will, people frequently designate the executor of their estate. If no agent for the executor in Mississauga is named, a probate court will choose one for you.
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