Resource Centre: What Goes Inside your Will

Who and What is the Executor of the Will?

  • Willskeeper

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The executor of the Will or alternatively the estate, is the person who is chosen by the testator to carry out their wishes after death. These responsibilities may include distributing funds to the beneficiaries, acting on the testator’s behalf in any businesses, managing any finances, and so on. Typically, this role is filled by a relative or close friend.

Do I need to appoint an executor?

Appointing an executor is a fundamental part of preparing your affairs. Not doing so will result in the court appointing an administrator to execute your wishes, and more often than not this person may not be the ideal person to fill this role.

Because the responsibilities of the executor include so many different aspects of handling the affairs of the deceased, additionally responsibilities they may take on can also include collecting debts, selling assets, paying outstanding bills and invoices, and filing your final tax return. They will also be required to communicate with beneficiaries and heirs regularly, contacting creditors and so on. Not only is it time consuming it’s also very demanding emotionally and physically. For these reasons it’s important to make sure that the right person has been elected to be your executor.

How should I choose my Executor?

The legal requirements to be eligible to be the executor of the Will are that they must be at least 18 years old, and that they are able to understand what is expected of a personal representative. Otherwise, we’ve put together a list of things you should consider when you choose your executor:

  • Choose someone you trust.
  • Choose someone that is honest.
  • Make sure they are:
    • Organized
    • Financially literate
    • Impartial
    • Ethical
    • Communicates well
  • Choose someone that you can speak with beforehand, and make sure they are comfortable with the responsibility.
  • Avoid naming an executor outside the province, if possible. 

WillsKeeper makes it easy to choose your executor, and amend it as your needs change. Get started with your Will today.