Rob Culos of Culos & Co. offers excellent services in estate planning and estate administration that will save you time, money, and hassle in the long run.

Essential first steps for Executors probating a Will

If you’ve been named the Executor of somebody’s Will, you’ve been given an extremely important job.

Your first decision is whether or not you wish to accept that job. So long as you have not dealt with any of the estate assets, you’re free to decline the appointment, called “Renouncing,” explains Vernon lawyer Robert Culos.

An Executor who wishes to take care of the last arrangements (such as the burial/cremation and the funeral or Celebration of Life) before Renouncing may do so. However, they must be careful not to sell assets to cover the cost of final arrangements.

If they pay for these costs out of their own pocket they’re supposed to be reimbursed, but an executor who does not carry on to probate the Will may have problems having the estate pay their costs, if any family members are unhappy.

If you do accept the job, you take on the role of a Trustee. Your conduct will be governed by:

  • the terms of the Will;
  • provincial legislation such as the Trustee Act and the Wills Estates and Succession Act; and
  • the Common Law as it relates to trusts and executors.

READ MORE: Wills? Probate? 5 common questions answered

In some cases, it’s not necessary to probate the Will. For example, if all of a person’s assets are either owned jointly with another person, or if they’ll go to named beneficiaries (for example, life insurance, RRSP, RRIF, TFSA or a segregated fund), then it may not be necessary to probate the will.

It’s also possible that if the only asset is an account at a bank or credit union and the balance is relatively small (under $50,000), then the institution might release the funds without Letters Probate.

However, that usually only happens when the person requesting the funds is known to the branch or if the other family members all agree to indemnify the institution releasing the funds against any claims that might be brought by a third party.

In most cases, it will be necessary to probate the Will. One of the first steps that an Executor should take is to secure the assets. For example, the executor should:

  1. search for cash and other valuables and arrange for their safekeeping;
  2. cancel the person’s credit cards;
  3. ensure the person’s residence is secure;
  4. check the insurance on major assets, such as the residence and motor vehicles;
  5. redirect mail if necessary; and
  6. apply for Canada Pension Plan Death Benefits (or ensure that the funeral home has done so).

To learn more about estate planning, contact Culos & Co. Law at 250-549-7168 in Vernon, or 250-546-2448 in Armstrong, or visit online.

Estate planning

Just Posted

North Okanagan sisters-in-law sleep out successful

Kiley Routley and Heidi Routley raise nearly $2,400 and awareness for youth homelessness

Vernon youth questioned by RCMP after incident on school roof

Police receive reports of debris being thrown from Seaton Secondary roof Saturday

Vernon restaurant winging it with colour

Wings hosts colouring contests where child patrons can win gift certificates

QUIZ: Are you ready for a summer road trip?

How much do you really know about roads, motor vehicles and car culture? Take this quiz to find out.

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

Dozens of fish die at popular lake near Chase

A few natural phenomena are possible causes for their deaths.

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Most Read