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An Estate Trustee/Executor derives his or her authority from the Will.

An estate trustee/executor's duties are to:

  • read and interpret the Will
  • arrange for the funeral and burial of the deceased
  • take possession of the deceased's property
  • list contents of the safety deposit box
  • compile an inventory
  • value all assets and debts
  • pay or settle any outstanding debts
  • pay funeral expenses directly from accounts of the deceased
  • determine spouse's entitlement under Family Law Act
  • determine income tax liability of both the deceased and the estate
  • look after the deceased's house or apartment
  • terminate lease with landlord
  • disconnect and return telephones
  • disconnect cable
  • notify utility companies
  • notify insurance agents
  • send notice of change of address to the Post Office
  • cancel subscriptions
  • cancel credit cards
  • ensure on-going management of private business
  • instruct Solicitor to ascertain whether a Grant is necessary and to apply for Probate
  • keep beneficiaries informed throughout
  • protect real estate
  • ensure mortgage is paid
  • write to financial institutions
  • value investments and collect income
  • value real estate, cars, household and personal effects
  • complete claims for life insurance and company and Government pensions
  • close out bank accounts, brokerage accounts, safety deposit box
  • collect insurance proceeds
  • prepare and file appropriate Income Tax Returns
  • obtain Clearance Certificate from Revenue Canada
  • register assets in estate's or beneficiaries' names
  • arrange for sale of real estate, if necessary
  • advertise for creditors, if necessary
  • deliver household and personal effects bequeathed to beneficiaries – sell off balance of assets per instructions of will
  • convert assets to cash to pay debts and taxes, if necessary
  • discharge mortgages and other debts
  • pay legacies and other bequests under Will
  • transfer residue of estate
  • establish trusts as per instructions in Will
  • prepare and submit to residual beneficiaries a detailed accounting of estate funds
  • prepare and obtain releases from beneficiaries
  • take executor's compensation

Questions? Please contact John Johnson at 613-231-8253 or at

This content is not intended to provide legal advice or opinion as neither can be given without reference to specific events and situations. © 2021 Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP.

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