executor compensation

Executor Compensation

I recently met with Janice (not her real name) at my law office in Stittsville near Ottawa, Ontario. Janice had been appointed as executor of her uncle’s estate. She had been told by a friend that she could be paid for acting as an executor. Her uncle’s Will made no mention of executor compensation so Janice wasn’t sure whether she could be paid and, if so, how much.

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lastwill

My Sister Needs Money….Can I Distribute Her Share of My Mother’s Estate Early?

I recently met with Jack (not his real name) at my law office near Stittsville in the City of Ottawa. Jack had a question which many of the executors that I meet with also ask. Jack’s mother had passed away 6 months ago. He had been appointed as the executor of her estate. His mother had left everything to be divided equally among Jack and his brother and sister.  Jack’s sister, Susan, was in long-term care due to some serious health issues and her care costs were climbing. Jack was worried about her and wondered if he was allowed (as executor) to give Susan some of her inheritance right away. He and his brother could wait until the estate was ready to be wound up to receive their inheritances.

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Has Anyone Seen My Inheritance? Why Is It Taking So Long?

I recently met with Richard (not his real name) in my law office in Stittsville (Ottawa) to review his estate planning. In the course of our discussions, he explained that close to a year ago, he had received a letter from his uncle’s lawyer. It said that he was a beneficiary of his uncle’s estate. He still hadn’t received any of his inheritance. As Richard knew I also worked with executors, he asked if I might know what could be taking so long. 

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estate planning will

How To Find A Will

Bill (not his real name) came into our Ottawa office to meet with me. His father had died a couple of years ago. sunsetBill needed a copy of his father’s Will because a long-lost cousin had died just before his dad.  Bill’s dad had been left an inheritance from his cousin’s estate which was just now being distributed.
Bill thought he had a copy of his dad’s will but couldn’t find it anywhere. He needed to know how to find a Will.

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An Estate with no Executor?

During the estate planning process, many important decisions must be made.  Although most people focus on who will get their estate, another important decision is who to appoint as executor (also referred to in Ontario as an ‘estate trustee’).  Both a primary (your first choice) and one or more alternate executors should be named in case the first choice is unable to do the job.    A recent and interesting article by Susan Hughes, entitled “No executor required” published in the November/December 2009 issue of the Canadian Lawyer, shows just how important this choice can be.
Hughes reviews a recent Ontario case, Evans v. Gondor, in which a most interesting situation arose.  At their request, the court removed the executors who had been named in the deceased’s Will.  The executors, the deceased’s sister and brother-in-law, no longer wished to act and there was no replacement named. This left the estate without an executor.

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Everything You Wanted to Know About Probate

What Is Probate?

Probate is the process of legally establishing the validity of a will.   As a result, the Court confirms the appointment of an Estate Trustee (or Executor).  The Estate Trustee administers and distributes the estate of the deceased person.  An Estate Trustee may be appointed with or without a Will.  If there is a Will, the Court issues a Certificate of Estate Trustee with a Will.  If there is no Will, the Court issues  a Certificate of Estate Trustee Without a Will and the estate is distributed according to Ontario’s intestacy laws.  When a person dies without a Will, they are said to have died “intestate”.

When Is Probate Needed?

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