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I’ve been asked to be an executor. What exactly does that mean?

The executor is the person who has the power to deal with your estate, distribute it to the beneficiaries and act on the wishes you describe in your will. Usually, the executor or executrix is a family member or a professional associated with the family, such as a lawyer or accountant.

The list of duties of an executor is long. If an estate is complex, it can be a time-consuming and difficult task. Here is a list of some of the tasks for which an executor is responsible: One of the most important things for you to know as executor is the location of important documents, such as the will and pertinent financial statements. Talk to the person who has appointed you as their executor and ensure you can locate these items. If a person dies intestate (without a will and therefore without an executor), the court will appoint an administrator. It can take months for this process to be completed, and the wishes of the deceased will likely not be carried out. There are some ways to lighten the load. If your friend is in agreement, a co-executor can be appointed to work with you. After the fact, some trust companies offer assistance to the executor for a fee, which might be worth considering if the estate is a complicated one. To find out more about estate planning: You Can’t Take It With You: The Common-Sense Guide to Estate Planning for Canadians, 2nd Edition, by Sandra E. Foster, published by John Wiley & Sons, Canada Everything You Need to Know About Estate Planning, by Kevin Wark, LL.B, CFP Published by Key Porter Books, Canada