You may be busy making money and acquiring properties, vehicles, and other things of value throughout your life. By the time you die, these will likely be left to your family. You need to create a will to ensure things are handled exactly how you want them. It also guarantees legal protection of assets to your spouse, children, and other individuals. You can even include your final wishes. After completing your will, you need to choose your executor.
What Is an Executor?
The executor is responsible for managing your last wishes. They are in charge of handling the estate and giving out your property, possessions, and assets according to your instructions. They also need to settle debts before distributing inheritances. To learn more about the role they play in your last will, here are some of their obligations:
Knowing and contacting your beneficiaries
Your executor has to know the people or organizations that will inherit your assets. They also have to reach out to the beneficiaries. Doing so makes sure they receive their share according to what was mentioned in the will.
As for debt, your executor must contact creditors to inform them of your death. They should also cancel your bank accounts and get in touch with offices and businesses with which you have had an account.
Securing your estate
After you pass away, imagine your property and possessions becoming a free-for-all for your family and friends where your prized belongings just start disappearing. Each acquaintance walks out of the door with some of your items.
While you might not mind if this happens, this is still considered stealing and illegal. One of the best ways to prevent this is to have an executor. They are responsible for keeping your assets safe, which is why the first step is often changing locks.
Administering the estate
Certain payments have to be cancelled, but others have to be continued even after you pass on. These include home loans, car payments, or other recurrent expenses. Your executor has to be aware of that. They also need to consider setting up a bank account for the estate to keep other funds separate and pay off outstanding balances more manageable.
How Do I Choose My Executor?
Many people entrust the role of an executor to the person they are closest to, or they trust the most, like their spouse, parent, child, close friend, or family member. Since you are now familiar with an executor’s responsibilities, you should remember that being an executor is a demanding job requiring skills and honesty. It is not merely about selecting who gets along the most with you.
When choosing your executor, pick someone trustworthy and fiscally responsible. If you are having trouble selecting one, you can name co-executors or an alternate executor. You also have the option to hire a professional executor, such as a wills and estates lawyer. Unlike beneficiaries prone to creating a conflict of interest, they can approach your situation without any biases or judgment. This is especially helpful if you feel that legal issues may arise in the distribution of the estate.
Your executor is responsible for handling almost everything you have worked hard for, and meeting them is probably the most important appointment you will make in your life. Because of this, make sure you choose the right person for the job. If you decide to hire a professional, consider appointing experienced and trustworthy lawyers like us.
If you want to ensure things are done according to your wishes in your last will and testament, reach out to Ontario Wills & Estate Plans. We are detail-oriented, decisive, and can carry on the tasks for a long time. We also provide quality legal advice by video conference. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you!