Many people are familiar with the concept of being named the
Executor of an Estate, but few are aware of the various statutory
and common law obligations that come along with being named an
Executor. One of the fundamental obligations of an Executor is to
protect the assets of the Deceased's Estate.
We always recommend that an Executor or Personal Representative
consult with a legal professional before proceeding with the
administration of an Estate, however the following may be helpful
as a general point of reference.
(1) Search for cash, securities, jewellery, and other valuables,
and arrange for their safekeeping. Cancel the Deceased's credit
(2) Search for insurance policies and apply for any benefits.
Some insurance policies have strict time limitations that you must
(3) Lock up the Deceased's residence if it is not occupied.
Advise the police if it is not under proper supervision.
(4) Arrange for an immediate inventory of all personal
(5) Check the insurance on the Deceased's assets (e.g.,
house, furniture, motor vehicle). Check the expiry dates and check
the vacancy provisions to ensure that the coverage continues (a 30
day vacancy limit applies in most policies insuring residential
property). Notify the insurers of the death.
(6) Arrange for interim management of the Deceased's
(7) Collect and deposit any outstanding cheques (e.g., pensions,
dividends, interest, salary).
(8) Redirect mail if necessary.
(9) Check for mortgages (and determine if they are life-insured)
and agreements for sale, and make the payments to keep them up to
(10) Check leases and tenancies. Give tenants notice about where
to send rent payments and give notice of termination if
(11) Review the last cheques written by the Deceased to ensure
that there were no irregularities.
(12) Notify Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security of the
Deceased's death and that they should cancel any future
(13) Apply for Canada Pension Plan Death Benefits.
The preceding suggestions are of general application and do not
necessarily apply to every estate administration. This list is not
intended as an exhaustive list of assets for all scenarios; there
may also be other assets that require protection which are not
dealt with above.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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It is not uncommon for parents to provide monetary gifts to their adult children. Parents may wish to help their child with a down payment on a property, or help pay out their child's existing mortgage.
On March 31, 2014, BC's new Wills, Estates and Succession Act1 ("WESA") will come into force. WESA introduces new protections for beneficiaries of estates that are in danger of being disputed or deemed ineffective by a court.
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