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Should you hire a trust company to handle your estate?

The demand for professional Trust and Estate administration is an area that is experiencing significant growth. This growth is caused by a number of factors including our ageing population, our modern family structures, and the vast distances that spread family members apart.

Estate professionals are being asked to step in and help families resolve emotionally charged family disputes.

There are...

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Why Appointing Children as Executor Can Be a Mistake

estate planning executor May 06, 2020

We all hope that when we are gone, our family members will work together to settle our estate.  Unfortunately, our office sees many estates where the testator created a Will filled with some common problems.

One of the most common problems we see is where a testator appoints all their children as their Executors.  This is a mistake.

If your family members do not get along, they...

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Who represents the estate when there is no will?

estates executor probate Mar 04, 2020

If there is no will, certain people are entitled to apply for a Grant of Administration. This is the type of Grant that is used when there is no will.  The application should be made by the person who has the highest priority and is willing and able. People with preference can renounce, and people at the same level of priority can apply. If no one at the level wants to use, people at...

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Can an executor be liable for the deceased's debts?

executor Dec 18, 2019

In Alberta, the Estate assets must be used to pay any outstanding funeral expenses, burial expenses, taxes, credit cards or other debt. Distributions to beneficiaries cannot be done until all debts are paid. 

What happens if there are not enough assets in the estate to cover the debts?

Only the Estate is responsible for the debt. If there is a shortfall, the Executor cannot be forced to...

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Executor Compensation: What are the tax implications?

executor tax Nov 20, 2019

An estate executor recently contacted our office and advised that they were unhappy with having to pay the CRA tax on their remuneration for acting as the administrator and trustee of an estate.

Paying taxes are never fun, and we know that – but acting as the executor of an estate is still a job. Similar to working as a teacher, truck driver, or business owner – you are compensated...

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Executor Compensation: How much should I give?

executor Nov 13, 2019

Being an Executor (or personal representative as they are known in Alberta) is hard work. Once you have picked someone you trust who can be responsible to wind up your estate, attention to detail so they can deal with all the little things surrounding your demise, and the tenacity to keep going and complete the job until the end. 

When you ask someone to be your executor you are asking...

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Can you be held liable for the wrongdoings of your co-executor?

executor Nov 06, 2019

It is an executor's ethical responsibility to act in the best interest of the estate; but what happens when you are paired with a co-executor who is acting irresponsibly? Can you be held liable?

In general, a co-executor can only be held liable for their own actions, inactions, errors, or for assets that they personally dealt with. This rule protects them from liability in...

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Can you renounce your duties as executor?

executor Oct 30, 2019

Being named as the executor of an estate is an honour, but it is also a major undertaking. It can be difficult, time-consuming and emotionally draining. You may not want to accept the position because you are either grieving or ageing, or because you reside outside of Alberta, are traveling abroad, do not have the time, do not have the knowledge, do not believe you can handle the position,...

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Should I appoint joint executors in my will?

executor Oct 23, 2019

A Co-executor is by definition a bunch of people who work on an estate together. They share in the duties and responsibilities of the estate work. Co-Executors are to work together and be of one mind on all estate decisions. An exception to this rule, is where the will specifically says if the co-executors do not agree then a majority vote allows executors to act in a certain way.

Having...

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Who should you appoint as your executor?

estate planning executor Sep 11, 2019

Appointing an Executor to administer and handle your estate is an important decision. This is the person (or people – or organization) that you are entrusting with the disposition of your property and possessions. Basically, your Executor will grant your final wishes.

Here are three things to consider when appointing an Executor:

1. Age and Qualifications

It is important to take...

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