Let’s face it – people are living longer today, but all boaters meet their maker sooner or later. Have you ever considered what happens when you appoint a relative or trusted family friend to manage the administration of your estate as an estate trustee or executor? Very few people that make a will understand the significant obligations they are asking their executor to assume, and even fewer understand the personal risks that accompany acting as an executor for a friend or relative.
The role of executor is a personal engagement that carries a very high level of responsibility to the beneficiaries, creditors, and third parties to the estate of the person that has passed away. They are legally required to perform at a very high level of skill in order to protect the interests of the beneficiaries and creditors of the estate – typically to a much higher standard than most people conduct their own personal affairs. (more…)
Article by Chuck Howitt, Record staff: November 10, 2012
KITCHENER — It’s a task you might be asked to perform once or twice in a lifetime, if at all.
Usually an elderly parent or close family relative is the one who will ask you to handle the job. The responsibility is usually accepted on a whim without much thought of the obligations required.
“We call them the trusted family friend or unfortunate relative,” Scot Dalton says.
Dalton is talking about the executor of the estate, the person tasked with identifying the assets in a person’s will and distributing them to the appropriate beneficiaries. (more…)
I read a great article this week in The Lawyer’s Weekly. Good food for thought.
This is an interesting commentary on a new social dynamic – separation and divorce among people in their 60’s, 70’s and 80’s – and it has some interesting aspects for executors that handle estates for these people.
When an individual drafts their Will, they name a person(s) that they respect and trust will carry out their final wishes fairly and to the benefit of the beneficiaries. Although not always successful, most people try to identify someone that won’t cause obvious animosity within the beneficiary group.
The role of executor for even a simple estate is a big job; it can be challenging for a person to perform within the confines of full-time employment and balancing other obligations, particularly when they have limited experience with the tasks involved. The executor often looks to their spouse, common law partner, or someone else they love, to help carry out the tasks – sometimes, literally, for the “heavy lifting” and other times to solve the “estate business” problems associated with the administration.
Tagged assets, beneficiaries, estate, executor, executor insurance, executor risk, family feud, inheritance, power of attorney, Scot Dalton, wills and estates
If you have Power of Attorney for an aging or ill parent, you know that you have very broad control of Mom or Dad’s money, health and welfare. You are using your personal discretion on how to manage their assets, attend to their health needs, accommodation, or other comforts. (more…)
Have you ever wondered about the whereabouts of some of Mom and Dad’s personal property that you used to see around the house? It seems the older our parents get, the more inclined some family members are to borrow things, but the less inclined they are to return them because the parents “never use it anymore . . . and don’t really need it”. (more…)
Have you ever considered the fact that you may not know everything your parents have done, or are doing today, for your siblings or the grandchildren? Many parents are reticent to share the specifics (or the very existence) of their financial support of one child or grandchild with other family members for any number of reasons. Often, they prefer not to explain or defend it to people that may find it unacceptable regardless of the explanation. (more…)
I read an interesting case the other day, the Reinisch case from the Court of Queen’s Bench Manitoba in 2011. By way of background, this started as an apparently happy family with the advantage of some financial success with a family business and the benefits that come with it, including cottage property and toys that were enjoyed communally by the entire family for many years. There had been some financial planning done, a Will had been prepared and was fairly current, and the testators adult sons were named executors, and they also had the benefit of an estate lawyer. So far so good. (more…)
Scot Dalton of Estate Risk Protection Plan Inc. talks to Ian Hull of Hull & Hull LLP about the human dynamics during estate administration, and how reactions to the will can lead to tensions during the estate’s settlement.
As the old adage goes, “no good deed goes unpunished,” and taking on the role of executor can be fraught with complexities and risk. Provisions in the will may be interpreted in such a way that causes tension amongst beneficiaries, executors have limited foresight of the markets and estranged family members may require special management, all of which contribute to an unpredictability in estate administration.
Scot Dalton of Estate Risk Protection Plan Inc. talks to Ian Hull of Hull & Hull LLP about estates with perceived risk attached to them. Hull explains whether he is able to identify estates with a risk of administrative error occurring and discusses the significance of human nature in estate disputes.