Who should I appoint as my Executor?
Appointing an Executor (also referred to as a Personal Representative or Trustee) can be a challenging task. Finding someone who is willing and able to be saddled with the responsibility of administering your Estate is a process that involves some important considerations. Above all, the primary consideration is trustworthiness.
Warren Buffett is often credited with saying that “In looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And, if someone doesn’t have the first quality, don’t even bother with the other two.” The same can be said for choosing an Executor.
Other considerations, both of which are secondary to trustworthiness, include geography, (is the person you’re considering appointing readily able to travel to Calgary to settle your Estate?) and a working knowledge of how to handle finances and seek advice from qualified professionals such as financial planners, accountants, tax specialists, and estate lawyers.
HELP! I don’t have an Executor for my Will
What should I do? Don’t worry; there are other options. Most of the large Canadian banks such as RBC, TD, and Scotiabank, among others, have their own “trust services” departments. Typically, these trust companies are willing to act as the Executor of your Estate in exchange for a fee.
The Wills and Estates lawyers at West Legal can put you in contact with someone at your local bank branch who will point you in the right direction if this is an option that you’re considering.
Our lawyers also liaise with trust company estate lawyers where necessary, to ensure that your Will meets all of the trust company’s unique requirements. While a trust company will likely do an adequate job when tasked with administering your estate, their fees will often exceed those of an individual executor. Furthermore, trust companies typically have in-house estate lawyers and financial planners whom they will require the estate to use in the event that a probate application is warranted or if there are funds being held in trust on behalf of minor beneficiaries.