What are the main duties of a trustee of an estate?

Fast & CompanyGeneral, Probate

At some point during the probate of an estate, the estate’s personal representative ceases to act as the executor and becomes the estate’s trustee. This usually happens once all of the personal representative’s duties have been met. Trustees are responsible for maintaining the assets of the decedent’s estate once all legitimate debts have been paid. According to the Law of … Read More

Do I really have to pay off my deceased dad’s debts?

Fast & CompanyEstate Administration, General

When spouses, parents or others die, their heirs may have concerns about any responsibility they may have to pay the debts the deceased accrued over a lifetime. In short, the answer is that they have no responsibility. However, just as with many of the complex aspects of estate administration and probate, there are exceptions, and they include: Joint debts where … Read More

What happens when there is no money in an estate?

Fast & CompanyGeneral, Probate

One of the problems that estate administrators can encounter during the probate process is dealing with an insolvent estate. This occurs when the decedent owes more to creditors than the estate is worth.  An insolvent estate presents a unique set of challenges to estate administrators. By definition, an “insolvent estate” is one that doesn’t have sufficient funds to pay the … Read More

Can I administer my Mom’s estate without killing my siblings?

Fast & CompanyGeneral

If you are the administrator of your parent’s estate and you have at least one sibling, chances are good that you have first-hand experience with frustration. There’s something about parental inheritance that turns otherwise pleasantly civil siblings into the snarling and scrapping toddlers they once were. When the estate administrator is also an heir, he or she might have to … Read More

Can a corporate executor lighten the probate load?

Fast & CompanyEstate Administration, General, Probate

People tend to seek out the most trusted friends and relatives they have to serve as estate administrators of their estates after they die. After all, who best to carry out one’s wishes but a trusted loved one?  Actually, in many cases, the administrator, while trustworthy and well-intentioned, is not the ideal person for the job at hand. Perhaps they … Read More

How can I minimize my liability as executor during probate?

Fast & CompanyEstate Administration, General, Probate

When accepting the responsibility of being the executor of a decedent’s estate, one also accepts any liabilities. According to one senior will and estate planner in Newfoundland, the primary risk to executors is the last will and testament. Many people draft wills that are quite vague and fail to specify important information about bequests to heirs and beneficiaries. For example, … Read More

Understanding the Probate Process

Fast & CompanyEstate Administration, General

In March of 2014, British Columbia enacted the Wills, Estates and Succession Act, which modernized estate law and made the probate process easier. Whether probate is necessary or not depends upon the policies of the financial institutions or agencies that hold any assets that are part of a decedent’s estate. Some agencies require that executors apply for representation grants so … Read More

Do I have to accept being an administrator of a will?

Fast & CompanyEstate Administration, General

If you are named as executor of someone’s estate, that is an indication that the person had great confidence in you and your ability to carry out his or her wishes. But while it may be considered an honour, it is also a big responsibility. Some people who are named as executors wind up renouncing those duties. There can be … Read More

When the Estate Includes Digital Assets

Fast & CompanyEstate Administration, General

If you are selected to administer a family member’s, close friend’s or business associate’s estate, chances are that in this digital age, your responsibilities could include management of the digital assets of the deceased. When you consider that may entail responsibility for a lifetime’s worth of accounts and files uploaded to the cloud, coupled with bereaved loved ones clamoring for … Read More