Over the holidays a gentleman contacted me about the Executor/Trustee services I offer. He had recently been responsible for the estate of 2 friends, both male and in their early 50s, who had suddenly died. He decided he needed to “get his things in order” and wanted to know how it worked if he appointed me.
I told him it wasn’t a matter of simply having his lawyer put my name in his Will as the Executor/Trustee. There were 3 additional points that had to be included when an Executor/Trustee is appointed, and that I had to meet with him. Even though being an Executor/Trustee is a job, it is personal in nature, and important for me to understand the wishes of those who have appointed me. Here are the 3 additional points that must be included in all Wills where I am appointed the Executor/Trustee;
1. Professional Advisors:
My Trustees may retain the services of lawyers, accountants, trust companies, banks, investment advisors, insurance brokers (including, without limitation, with respect to executors’/estate trustees’ liability insurance), real estate brokers and other advisors and organizations to provide advice and assistance in the administration of my estate and may pay out of the income or capital of my estate all proper and reasonable fees for such advice and assistance, which fees shall be in addition to my Trustees’ compensation
I authorize my Trustees from time to time to pay to themselves from the capital and/or income of my estate reasonable amounts for compensation at reasonable intervals during any accounting period of my estate, subject to the subsequent approval of such amount(s) by all those receiving or entitled to receive bequests from my estate, or by a Judge or authorized officer of the Court on any passing of accounts or audit of the assets of my estate. If the amount subsequently awarded on court audit or agreed to by my beneficiary or beneficiaries, as the case may be, is less than the amount so pre-taken, the difference shall be repaid to my estate without interest.
3. Release of Bond Requirement
My Trustee, wherever resident or domiciled, is to be relieved from giving any bond or security for the administration of my Estate in any part of Canada, or any province thereof, or in any commonwealth or foreign country or place, unless mandatory by law
I also insist that funerals be pre-planned, and would prefer pre-planned and pre-paid.
To get paperwork in order I suggested the purchase of the Executor Workbook which can be ordered as a hard-copy or an e-book. That will help start the arduous task of “getting things in order”.
If you have had any problems in the wording of a Will where you’ve been appointed the Executor/Trustee, or felt you got the short end of the inheritance due to wording in a Will, I would appreciate hearing your thoughts and experiences. I am not a lawyer and will not give legal advice, but I am interested in the challenges others face in these situations and how they were resolved.