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What is an Estate Trustee (Executor) and What Do They Do?

The Estate Trustee (Executor) is the person you name in your Will to have the legal responsibility to administer your estate after your death. Here are some characteristics of the ideal Estate Trustee (Executor):

• Lives in the same area as you;
• Has experience managing money and dealing with financial institutions;
• Can deal with your relatives and beneficiaries objectively;
• Is comfortable dealing with lawyers and accountants;
• Has the time to spend settling your estate;
• Is organized and not afraid to ask for professional help when needed;

You should appoint a primary Estate Trustee (Executor) and an alternate in your Will. This is important because your primary Estate Trustee (Executor) may predecease you.

The Estate Trustee (Executor) has a very clear defined role in administration of the estate:
• Attending to the funeral and burial arrangements;
• Proving the will (if necessary);
• Collecting and protecting estate asserts; paying creditors and satisfying liabilities (including taxes owing);
• Distributing specific bequests and conveying devises of real property; and finally, distributing the residue of the estate.

In the case of a trusts that are defined in the Will, the Estate Trustee (Executor) may also have to establish one of more trusts for specified beneficiaries and administer any such trust until the time specified for final distribution.

Acting as an Estate Trustee (Executor) can be challenging. You should give this responsibility to someone you trust and someone who possesses the above-mentioned characteristics.

If you need assistance drafting your Will or Administering an Estate, contact our Elizabeth Street office by phone at 705-526-3791 for a quote or speak directly to one of our lawyers.

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