Family Transitions Estate and Asset Services     


The Role Of The Executor – We can help!

This high level summary identifies the major steps in settling a fairly simple estate. While not a complete list, it is intended to give the reader a general understanding of the tasks involved.

Review urgent matters & scope

 

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Start

Locate the will, and review will for specific instructions, and size and complexity of estate

 

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Family Care

Determine need for immediate care of dependent family members (and pets!)

 

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Funeral

Determine need for help in funeral arrangements.  Often immediate family will do this on reading specific instructions in the will

       

Gather documents and information

 

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Documents

Gather, Review, copy and put in safe keeping: Will and any codicils or memoranda, Living Will, Powers of Attorney, Life insurance policies

 

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Info

Document all pertinent information on a Data Sheet for needs of: Funeral Director, Lawyer, Accountant, Tax Returns

 

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Death Certificate

Obtain 10 original copies of death certificate

 

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Papers

Search for, identify, and organize other personal and financial documents

       

Ensure the safety and security of Estate

 

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Locks

Change locks on House, and all other properties

 

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Security Systems

Review security systems / Bring in expert ?

 

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Valuables

Arrange for safe keeping of all valuables & important documents offsite / in bank if necessary

 

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Insurance

Review insurance coverage on real estate, automobiles and other estate assets. Adjust insurance up or down where necessary.

 

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Safety Deposit Box

Locate & List Safe deposit contents, remove if necessary with bank

 

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Business

Where the deceased carried on business as a sole proprietor or as the owner-manager of a corporation, make arrangements for the business to continue and/or for the security of all physical assets and documents.

       

Notify agencies and institutions and file forms

 

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Notify Government Agencies

Old Age Security: Health & Welfare Canada (Check for Spouse Child suvivor benefits)
Veteran's pension
Canada Pension Plan, see www.hrdc.gc.ca   Make application for: Death Benefit, Survivor benefit, Orphan Benefit (even if one parent lives)

 

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Life Insurance

Locate Life Insurance policies, and initiate claim for payout to beneficiaries

 

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Annuities

Locate Annuities: Make claim for any proceeds

 

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Employer / Past Employers

Call HR department to make claims for: Claim Bonus, Vacation Pay, medical costs under health plan, Death Benefit under group Life Insurance, employer's benefit
Document all Medical & Dental Benefits for surviving spouse & Children, Survivor Pension, Options
Check into lump sum payout from company or pension plan

 

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Bank

Bank Account will be frozen on notification of death except for costs of Funeral, Probate Taxes, Income Taxes, Utilities, Insurance Payments
Request Statements

 

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Investment Accounts

Request Statements

 

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Annuities, RRIFs

Request Statements, Close Accounts

 

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Loans, Mortgages

Request Statements
Are they life insured??

 

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Home, Car Insurance

Notify house will be vacant and ensure appropriate coverage is maintained
Check for pertinent claims

 

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Accident Insurance

Check for benefits from work policy, group policy, personal policy

 

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Insurance

Check if there are any life insurance benefits from credit cards, Group Life, alumni, profess. Assoc, auto Club

 

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Business

Are there any interests in partnerships or companies and locate shareholders and partnership agreements and provide a copy to the lawyer for his examination. (there may be triggering clauses in those agreements that must be met quickly)

 

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Other

If the deceased was receiving spousal or child support from a spouse or former spouse, advise the spouse or former spouse of the deceased's death.

 

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Other

If the deceased was the sole or a Co-Executor of an estate whose administration is not complete, or the sole or a Co-Trustee of a trust, advise the Co-Executors or Co-Trustees of the deceased's death and obtain professional advice as to whether you have any responsibilities.

 

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Beneficiaries

Communication with all Beneficiaries.  Provide: Copy of will for each named beneficiary, Notice of application for certification of appointment as trustee

       

Cancel accounts, cards and memberships

 

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Utilities

Phone, Cell, TV, Internet -- Request copies of last statements

 

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Credit Cards

Make copy
Check for death benefit feature of Credit card

 

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Pre-authorized Payments

Cancel as applicable

 

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Memberships

Club Memberships, professional memberships
Arrange for refunds of unused portions

 

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Subscriptions

Newspaper, magazine subscriptions

 

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Important Docs

Photograph & return to Government Agencies: Social Insurance Card, Passport, Health Insurance Card, Drivers License

 

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Insurance

Cancel insurance on assets as they are sold

 

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Partial returns

Claim the return of unused portions of memberships, insurance policies, Car Licenses

       

Administer the estate: collect income, pay creditors, maintain properties

 

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Family Members

Arrange for ongoing care of family members and adoption of pets

 

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Maintenance

Re-direct mail to executor's address

 

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Maintenance

Empty & clean residence

 

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Estate Bank Account

Establish estate chequing account that provides monthly statement with cancelled cheques
Transfer all cash into new account

 

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Close Accounts

Close all of the deceased's bank accounts and transfer balances into the estate bank account, including business accounts, if the deceased was a sole proprietor of a business. Ascertain for each account the balance at the date of death and the interest accrued to the date of death.

 

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Trust Accounts

Establish trust accounts stipulated in the will

 

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Creditors

Advertise for creditors, in accordance with the applicable law
Validate all claims and pay legitimate debts: Funeral Director, credit cards, house utilities, property tax arrears, income tax arrears, loan payments, outstanding leases, mortgages on house or vehicles, alimony or prior separation agreement, marriage contracts, cohabitation agreements, paternity agreements, separation agreements, court orders, Professionals, Executor, Judgement creditors, Probate, bank or private loans, business liabilities

 

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Creditors

Provide creditor list and supporting documentation to the lawyer, Review the priority of paying Debts. If liabilities will exceed the assets in the estate, obtain professional advice to ensure you divide available assets appropriately among the various creditors of the estate.

 

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Creditors

Pay Bills, obtain receipts & releases, & close these creditor accounts

 

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Maintenance

Manage general upkeep of all properties
- Home, Cottage, Farm, Commercial, Investment

 

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Maintenance

Inspect home regularly for insurance purposes

 

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Assets

Search for Leases, Loans & Mortgages held
Arrange continuance, collection by Estate

 

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$$ Owed

Invoice and collect any debts or incomes owing to the deceased.

 

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$$ Owed

If the deceased was a capital beneficiary of an estate or trust not yet distributed, or an income beneficiary of an estate or trust, contact the Executor(s) and/or Trustee(s) to advise them of the deceased's death and to obtain a copy of the Will or trust document. Ascertain any outstanding entitlements.

 

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Accounting

Prepare full accounting of all expenses paid, keep bank statements

       

Engage Professionals early on

 
 

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Lawyer

Consult with Lawyer who has extensive experience in Wills and Estates work
Determine whether it will be necessary to probate the will. Arrange the necessary court application and payment of probate fees.

 

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Accountant

Consult with Accountant / Tax Advisor who can advise & do the tax returns

 

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Maintenance

Coordinate cleaning of the residence

 

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Appraiser

Arrange for Appraisers

       

Inventory the assets

 
 

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Inventory

Compile detailed inventory of Investments, Bank Accounts, Loans, Leases, real estate, physical assets, with statements or appraisals as applicable

       

Complete tax returns and payments effectively

 

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Prior Taxes

Locate the previous several year's income tax returns and review w/ tax accountant. Ensure that prior returns are filed.  Do so if necessary

 

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Capital Gains

List original Purchase date/value of stocks held & Capital Gain @ time of death for all stocks and other assets. Determine the adjusted cost base for tax purposes of each capital property.

 

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RRSP/RRIF

Determine whether to make a contribution to the deceased’s RRSP within 60 days of the year of death. Advice from a tax consultant?
Consider whether any RRIFs and or RRSPs of the deceased are to be rolled over to their spouse or other eligible dependants and, if not leave them in deceased's name.

 

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Tax Returns

Arrange for accountant to prepare income tax returns: Deceased's Final Return, Rights or Things, Estate Return, Trust Returns?, Final Business return?
Pay taxes and obtain a certificate of tax clearance from the CCRA.

       
       

Dispose of assets or distribute to beneficiaries

 

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Asset Disposition

Identify which assets are to be sold, transferred in kind, or have titles transferred in accordance with the will, and the beneficiaries.  Include properties, liquid assets, household contents, heirlooms, bequeathed items.  Ensure there is sufficient cash to pay all debts / expenses.

 

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Asset Disposition

If bequeathed as a gift, transfer the property into the beneficiary’s name or as directed.
Plan upgrades to properties for maximum sale value. Engage contractors and supervise upgrades. Engage realtor

 

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Asset Disposition

Coordinate the sale of all or part of household contents , personal belongings, heirlooms

 

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Distribute

Deliver personal goods that have been bequeathed to the heirs. Distribute legacies & other bequests, taking tax impact into account.  Make distributions to beneficiaries, in keeping with the instructions of the Will.

 

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Distribute

Set up trusts established in the will & provide for management

 

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Distribute

Final distribution of remaining monies after all creditors paid, assets sold

 

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Report

Prepare and submit a full accounting of estate administration to beneficiaries and to The Ontario Supreme Court of Justice where required.

 

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Report

Document list of Distributed items / Values

 

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Releases

Obtain Signed releases from each adult beneficiary



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