BMO Harris Private Banking: Canadians Opt to "Keep it in the Family" When
Appointing an Executor
- Eighty percent of Canadians with a will have chosen a family member
as their Executor
- Know your role: Executors of a will must carry out close to 70
- Summer months are an ideal time to consider who your Executor could
be and discuss the topic with him/her
TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 07/04/13 -- As Canadians spend
time enjoying summer, BMO Harris Private Banking reminds them to
consider setting some time aside, if needed, to discuss important
matters such as estate and trust planning - including who will act as
Executor of their estate.
According to a BMO Harris Private Banking Estate Planning study, more
than half (56 per cent) of Canadians have a will in place. Within
this group, the vast majority (80 per cent) plan to keep the
management of their estate within the family:
-- Thirty-five per cent have chosen their spouse or partner as Executor.
-- Almost one-third (29 per cent) have named a family member other than
their spouse or partner.
-- Fifteen per cent have named someone outside of the family (such as a
lawyer, family friend or trust company) as Executor.
"It's encouraging that so many Canadians have given serious thought
to who will represent them after their passing," said Sara Plant,
Vice President and National Director, BMO Harris Private Banking.
"People should keep in mind that being an Executor of a will is a
significant responsibility that requires time, expertise and
emotional readiness. It's critical that he or she understands and
consents to the role they'll play well in advance, and that the wider
family understands this decision and how it will impact them."
Executor's Role and Responsibilities
An Executor is your personal representative after your death - the
person who will stand in your place to carry out the winding up of
your affairs. There are close to 70 separate duties that must be
carried out - more if the estate is complex. These tasks fall into
five general categories:
-- Preliminary arrangements
-- Securing the assets
-- Assembly, inventory and valuation of the estate
-- Paying debts, legacies and tax compliance
-- Final distribution of the estate
Given the many duties involved, as well as the emotional burden of
having a family member pass away, Ms. Plant noted that it is wise for
all Executors to consult a professional so they can understand their
role and responsibilities in full.
"Appointing an effective Executor is critical to the success of your
overall estate plan and will help ensure that you pass on your wealth
according to your wishes," said Ms. Plant. "Consequently, as with any
aspect of an individual's will, it's essential that you carefully
consider who will act as your Executor and discuss it with them
before your lawyer prepares your will. The summer months are a
perfect time to have these conversations, as people usually have less
on their minds and may have more time to think about your request."
Ms. Plant encourages Canadians to consider the following when
choosing an Executor:
-- Age and Stage: Be sure that your chosen Executor has the skills and
experience required and will be able to handle possible challenging
-- Ask Them First: Discuss your decision with your chosen Executor prior to
their appointment. They may decline, or request that you allow for
professional support, or want to discuss the fee arrangement.
-- Spell It Out: If the Executor accepts the duty, discuss the specifics of
your will and ensure they have a basic understanding of your estate.
-- Partner Up: Consider adding a co-Executor so they can share the burden
or balance interests.
-- Name an Alternate: Name another person in case your first choice pre-
deceases you or is unable or unwilling to act at the time of your death.
-- Get Professional Help: It may be more prudent to appoint a trust company
as a corporate Executor depending on the circumstances or the complexity
of the estate. A corporate Executor can also provide guidance to the
family Executor to add speed and ease to the process.
For more information on BMO Estate Planning: www.bmo.com/estate.
Get the latest BMO press releases via Twitter by following @BMOmedia.
The results cited in this release are from an online Pollara survey
with a random sample of 1,004 Canadians 18 years of age and older,
conducted between September 18th and September 24th, 2012. A
probability sample of this size would yield results accurate to +/-
3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.
Amanda Robinson, Toronto
Valerie Doucet, Montreal
Laurie Grant, Vancouver
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.