Duties Of Executors

Executors have the difficult task of carrying out the last wishes of the deceased. Often a testator has named his or her choice of executor in a will. The person designated as executor then has to carry out the testator's instructions. The executor has a large amount of duties when it comes to administering the estate, which includes paying the estates debts, filing final tax returns, and distributing the estate to the beneficiaries.

An executor must complete her or his duty to pass the accounts within two years of the grant of probate. Passing of accounts means that the executor must provide the court with a full account of the assets of the estate. If the executor fails to prepare accounts or his or her accounts cannot be accepted, the executor can be removed or face legal action.

An executor's job is not an easy one. Taking on the duty of administering an estate can be overwhelming, given the many tasks an executor is obligated to perform. An executor who fails to properly carry out fiduciary duties can expose him or herself to liability if they:
  • Fail to ensure all taxes are paid before distributing the estate to the beneficiaries.
  • Fail to ensure all creditors have been paid off or
  • Fail to resolve claims before distributing the estate to the beneficiaries.
  • Fail to make reasonable efforts to notify or discover other possible creditors or beneficiaries.
Engaging a lawyer's services will ensure that you will carry out your duties accurately and avoid any unnecessary liabilities. It is also important to note that lawyer's fees are paid from the estate's assets and not by the executor.

The lawyers at Vancouver-based Westside Family Law have guided clients through complex family law and estate litigation matters for over three decades. We can provide you with knowledgeable, efficient representation. Contact us today to set up a free consultation with a lawyer.