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Vancouver Wills and Estates Law Blog

What are the duties executors perform?

Many people who agree to execute an estate have limited information about what that process actually entails. Executors in British Columbia may have many questions, including what their duties are, how long settling a will can take and who can help along the way. While the responsibilities can be varied depending on the estate, there are a few basic tasks for which every executor is responsible.

The first of these is information gathering. Executors must collect information like bank statements, tax returns and insurance policies. Essentially, any document needed to define and distribute assets is the responsibility of the executor. They will also need to provide these documents as needed for the probate process.

Dealing With Disinheritance

Being disinherited can be devastating. In addition to the stress associated with losing a loved one, having to manage the implications of disinheritance adds a significant degree of cost, challenge, and emotional upheaval.

In British Columbia, navigating disinheritance is uniquely shaped by the Wills, Estates and Succession Act (WESA) and affords would-be beneficiaries some rights that aren’t available in other provinces.

Dying Without A Will

Having a legal will in place is important. Without one, you relinquish control of your estate following your death which could spell disaster for beneficiaries and loved ones. The time and money spent planning your estate and writing a will are well worth the investment, especially when it comes to peace of mind.

 

When A Beneficiary Disagrees: Part Two

Beneficiaries may choose to challenge a will for a range of reasons. In some cases, they might feel as if though they were unfairly excluded or received less than they were entitled to. In other instances, there are concerns about whether the testator created the will under the right conditions. 

Regardless of what has led a beneficiary to question a will, it is important to know that there are options available to them.

When A Beneficiary Disagrees: Part One

When a family member dies, emotions run high. From planning a funeral to learning how to get used to life without a loved one, it is not unusual to feel overwhelmed. For some people, the stress of experiencing a death is made worse when they discover that they were disinherited or received inadequate compensation in a will.

Understanding the rights of beneficiaries, the role of the executor, and the reasons behind a testator’s decision is important, especially as they relate to British Columbia’s Wills, Estates, and Succession Act (WESA.)

Understanding The Role Of A Fiduciary

The concept of a fiduciary can be confusing, especially if it’s one that hasn’t been encountered before. From understanding the role of a fiduciary in the context of estate administration to knowing the associated responsibilities, there is a lot to take in.

The relationships and obligations of fiduciaries can be hard to navigate and missteps can have serious consequences, making it critical to take the time to learn more about what it all means.

The Role Of Real Estate In Inheritance Disputes

What do British Columbia’s real estate prices and inheritances have in common? As it turns out, quite a bit. Despite some recent market cool downs, Vancouver still boasts some very high property prices which can fuel the fires of family discord when it comes to estate administration.

 

Important Questions That Executors Should Always Ask

Given the challenges associated with being named an executor, it would follow that no one should agree to the job without understanding what is expected from them. From interactions with beneficiaries to handling tax matters, there is no shortage of responsibilities that come with estate administration. A lot of thought is put into choosing an executor but it is important to remember that just as much consideration should be made before accepting.

 

What must executors do if an estate is reopened?

From paying probate to distributing assets, there are many things on the to do list when it comes to executing a will. The question is, is a British Columbia executor's job ever over? The answer depends on the will in question. If previously unknown beneficiaries or creditors surface years later, executors may still be responsible for correcting the situation. 

The good news for British Columbia executors is that is is unusual for an estate to be reopened. People have become more conscious of the need for proper record-keeping, so these kinds of surprises are less common than they perhaps used to be. Nonetheless, they can be an unpleasant surprise for those managing estate administration.

What executors must do before distributing assets

When someone passes away, it can sometimes be difficult to figure out which steps to take first. There are many responsibilities faced by British Columbia executors, including overseeing probate, hiring an accountant, conducting an inventory of assets and even distributing those assets. Beneficiaries will often pressure executors to distribute assets as soon as possible if they know they will receive a big payout. But what is really the best order of operations?

Distributing assets too early in the process is one of the bigger mistakes executors can make. British Columbia law spells out several responsibilities that executors have. They are liable if they fail to oversee the process properly, which may mean hefty fines.

Lunny Atmore

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