We assist both estate trustees and their legal counsels in avoiding personal liability issues.
We have close friends and family members from time to time place significant trust in us to look after their respective wishes once they pass on. As such, acting as an executor or executrix in Barrie, Ontario is a humbling honour, but can be fraught with issues surrounding beneficiaries and personal liability responsibilities which we had not envisaged when we accepted the responsibility.
Being an executor or executrix is a fiduciary duty that a lot of us do not necessarily comprehend when we accept that task. At times, as an estate trustee, we are asked to finalize financial transactions that may or could put our personal assets at risk.
We at Morgan & Partners Inc. can help. If a deceased estate has fewer assets than liabilities, then as an estate trustee, you are not at law able to perform your duties without transgressing your statutory responsibilities under various Provincial and Federal Acts. By considering putting the estate into bankruptcy, this will avoid those statutory responsibilities.
We have over the years assisted both the estate trustees and their legal counsels in avoiding this personal liability issue, and we are confident that we can deal with the issues at hand based on the wishes of the deceased and complete the deceased estate in an orderly and complete manner.
The Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act is there to assist this situation, and our professionals at Morgan & Partners Inc. have the knowledge and the experience to accommodate this issue if it arises.
FAQs About Being an Estate Trustee
Becoming someone’s estate trustee is a big responsibility, and you shouldn’t agree to it without understanding what you are getting into. Below, our team at Morgan & Partners Inc. has put together the answers to a few of our most frequently asked questions about becoming an estate trustee to help you get a better idea of what to expect—if you have further questions, you can always give us a call to ask us directly.
What is an estate trustee?
An estate trustee (also called an executor/executrix, or an estate representative) is an individual who has been appointed under a will or by court to administer another living person’s or deceased person’s estate. It could also mean someone is a trustee for a consumer proposal (also referred to as an estate or a Division I Proposal).
What responsibilities does an estate trustee have?
Agreeing to be someone’s estate trustee comes with a variety of responsibilities and imposes significant fiduciary obligations that shouldn’t be agreed to without fully understanding all responsibilities, which can include any of the following:
- Making funeral arrangements
- Paying estate fees
- Completing a final tax return for the deceased
- Contacting the deceased’s creditors to inform them of the person’s death
- Notifying all the beneficiaries named in the decedent’s will
- Dividing the deceased’s assets as stipulated in the will
- Completing all of the decedent’s estate trust tax returns.
As an estate trustee, do I have to pay the deceased’s debts?
If the estate has more debts than assets, you do not have to use your personal assets to pay the difference. Instead, you can turn to our team to have our experts help you put the estate into bankruptcy to protect your personal finances.