10 Reasons To Write A Will

  1. You decide how your Estate will be distributed;

  2. You decide who will take care of your Minor children;

  3. To avoid a lengthy probate process and possible Estate litigation;

  4. Minimize Estate taxes;

  5. You decide who will wind up the affairs of your Estate;

  6. You can disinherit individuals who would otherwise stand to inherit;

  7. Make gift and donations to the Charities and groups of your choice;

  8. Avoid greater legal challenges;

  9. You can change your mind if your life circumstances change;

  10. Because tomorrow is not promised but death is certain.


While it is an honor to be named executor, it can also be a great responsibility. Legal, tax and administrative issues can make the duties of an executor complex and time-consuming. Among their many duties, executors need to locate and assemble an inventory of estate assets, arrange for the sale of real estate, probate the Will, file up to five (5) tax returns, distribute the Estate and render accounting of their administration to the beneficiaries.

What are the duties of an Executor?

Duties vary greatly depending on the complexity of the Estate. However, even the least complex Estate requires attention from the Executor on a wide range of legal, tax and financial matters.

  • Locate, read and interpret the Will; Become familiar with the deceased’s financial affairs; Speak with the family and beneficiaries; Review insurance required on Estate assets; Redirect mail and cancel subscriptions

  • Gather the Estate’s assets: Contact financial institutions; complete claims for life insurance, company and government pensions Create an inventory of Estate assets;

  • Value all Estate assets; Manage investments.

  • Obtain probate from Court Instruct Solicitor to apply for probate; Pay probate fees to Court;

  • Obtain copies of Grant of Probate to deal with Estate assets; Administer the Estate

  • Close out bank and investment accounts, clear safety deposit boxes and collect insurance proceeds

  • Locate missing beneficiaries if necessary

  • Arrange for sale of real estate, if necessary, or transfer to beneficiaries;

  • Sell household and personal effects, if required; Advertise for creditors; Pay debts and defend claims;

  • Keep beneficiaries up to date on Estate progress; Prepare and file income tax returns; Obtain clearance from Canada Revenue Agency Distribute the Estate Pay legacies, other bequests and residue of Estate;

  • Prepare a final accounting of all assets, liabilities, expenses and distribution of assets for beneficiaries;

  • Have each adult Beneficiary approve this accounting and sign a Release form