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Carrying Out Final Wishes

Some less obvious aspects of estate administration

Acting as an executor for an estate in British Columbia is an important, but task-laden responsibility. Some of these tasks are relatively self-evident; it will come as no surprise that the executor is responsible for identifying beneficiaries and seeing to it they are given their allotted share, for example. There are, however, many less obvious, but equally important steps to take during the process of estate administration.

In many cases, the executor is also the next-of-kin, or is at least the person closest emotionally and/or geographically to the deceased. If there is no one else to perform some of the basic first steps, they will fall to the executor. For example, one of the very first acts should be to visit the home of the testator. For safety and security reasons, appliances will need to be shut off, and valuables gathered up. This may include cash and jewellery, as well as credit and banking cards, passports and other identification. 

Continuing with the home, if the deceased had insurance on the premises, check to make sure the coverage will remain ongoing until title to the property is transferred. If the home is to remain vacant, it would be advisable to let the local police know. If the deceased owned a vehicle, it should be locked in a secure place, and any valuable contents removed.

All these steps are just the beginning of a long journey. Though the task of estate administration may seem never-ending, there are professionals available to assist along the way. During this time of heavy emotions, it might be helpful to partner with a caring and dependable attorney who can help shoulder the burden. His or her experience with British Columbia estate law may be a great asset to any executor.

Source:, "Ten Steps to Being an Executor", Accessed on Jan. 17, 2017

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