The Personal Representative of Your Will

December 24, 2018

If you have a will in Ontario, you will choose someone that you trust to be the executor of your will. This person is also called a personal representative and their duty will be to carry out your wishes that are detailed in your will concerning the distribution of your property. They will make sure that the relatives receive the property that you want them to have, as well as deal with other duties to make sure that your will is followed correctly after your death. You can decide to appoint a few personal representatives for your will, as well as choose an alternate executor. This means that if there is some reason why your personal representative is unable to fulfil their duties, the alternate will step in.

Who Can I Choose?

You will be able to choose any personal representatives to manage your affairs and to follow your will. This person should be at least 18 years old to be your executor, as well as understand the duties that are involved for a personal representative. Otherwise, if you choose someone that is too young or does not understand what is expected of a personal representative, the courts will have to appoint someone for you upon your death. The most important thing is that you choose a personal representative that you are close to and that you trust to carry out your wishes. It is best to discuss this responsibility with them before you appoint them the executor of your will.

The Duties of an Executor

The personal representative that you choose or that is appointed by the law will have a number of important duties to carry out upon your death. This will include arranging the funeral, as well as dealing with property. Executors will deal with finding bank accounts, cancelling credit cards, filing any income tax returns, compiling a list of your assets and calculating any debts. In addition, they will distribute your property to the relatives and records will be kept of all the transactions that are completed.

One of the most important duties of an executor is to calculate the debts from your property. This must be done before any gifts are given out to the beneficiaries. This means it will be the remaining property after debts are paid that will be given out to relatives. Often, a personal representative will choose to release a Notice to Creditors and Claimants. This will mean running an advert in the local newspaper that will kindly ask any creditors that you have been involved with to come forward. It will be the duty of the executor to decide what claims are legitimate and to pay them accordingly from the estate. This can involve receiving written proof for their claim to be paid out.

All personal representatives have the duty to act prudently when it comes to dealing with your estate. This means they should maximize the assets that will be distributed amongst relatives. This can involve investing some assets if it will take time to deal with your affairs. It is also important to note that if a personal representative does not act in good faith in carrying out their duties, they can be sued.

Normally, it is expected for an executor to sort the affairs and the will within one year. This means all asserts should be ready to distribute to the relatives with 12 months of your death. This time period is called the executor’s year. If the assets are not ready after one year, the executor must provide a reasonable statement why this is the case and when the expected schedule is for distribution of the estate.

Expenses of the Executor

For any expenses that have occurred during the actions of their duties, personal representatives will be compensated. This will come from your estate. In addition, the duties of the personal representative can be complicated and take some time. This means that executors are paid a fee for their duties and this will be around five percent of the value of your estate.

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