ESTATES

What is an Estate?

An estate is created when someone dies:

 

  • Leaving a validly executed Will for the distribution of their property (a testate estate); or

  • Without leaving a validly executed Will (an intestate estate).

The Role of the Executor

The person entrusted with the onerous task of administering an individual’s estate under a Will is called the Executor, Executrix or Personal Representative. There may be more than one Executors appointed under a Will (Co-Executors). Typically, a properly drafted Will includes contingent Executor appointments in the event that an Executor is unable to act.

 

A Will may also create testamentary trusts to benefit certain beneficiaries such as minor children.

 

Typically, the Executor is appointed under the Will to act as both the Executor to administer the estate and as the trustee to act in that capacity for any testamentary trusts created under the Will. The executor and trustee under a Will do not need to be the same person although they have similar fiduciary duties under law.

Administration of Estates?

The administration of an individual’s estate has become increasingly complex owing to the increased diversity of property, investments and changing laws. Typical tasks of an executor in the administration of an estate may include:

 

  • Making funeral arrangements

  • Determining all of the estate assets and liabilities as at the date of death

  • Listing contents of a safety deposit box

  • Make application for all benefits payable to the estate, including death benefits, life insurance, pensions and annuities

  • Advertise for creditors and claimants

  • The creation and maintenance of records

  • Communication with the estate beneficiaries on a regular basis

  • Securing the safety of the estate property

  • Securing and protecting vacant real property

  • Making arrangements for the management of estate property

  • Selling estate property

  • Engage a lawyer

  • Engage an accountant

  • Application for the applicable grant required to administer the estate

  • Commence or defend actions on behalf of the estate

  • Preparation of financial statements

  • Paying the estates debts and obligations

  • Preparation and filing of the deceased’s tax return(s)

  • Preparation and filing of the estate and ongoing trust(s) tax return(s)

  • Obtaining the applicable tax clearance certificates

  • Determination of the contact information for the beneficiaries

  • Informing designated beneficiaries where property passes to them outside of the Will

  • Administering any testamentary trusts created under the Will

  • Preparation of a reconciliation of the estate, a proposed compensation schedule and a final distribution schedule

  • Distributing and accounting for the estate property in accordance with the Will

What is a Corporate Executor?

A Corporation which has been authorized and is regulated by legislation to offer its services as a trustee and executor to the general public.  Sorrell Private Trust is a Corporate Executor.

Why Choose SPT as a Corporate Executor?

The benefits of choosing an independent Corporate Trustee/Executor such as Sorrell Private Trust Company Inc., over an individual trustee/executor include the following:

 

  • Professional experience and expertise - In the administration of trusts and estates which are often complex owing to changing laws, tax matters and diverse investments.

 

  • Objectivity – Impartial and objective decision making free from family bias.

 

  • Continuity – A primary objective for establishing a trust is typically to benefit future generations of family members. The choice of a Corporate Trustee/Executor ensures the longevity of the trust as it is not subject to the human frailties of an individual trustee.

 

  • Confidentiality – An impartial, objective, and professional Corporate Trustee/Executor has a fiduciary duty to maintain a client’s privacy and keep their matters in strict confidence.

 

  • Regulation and Compliance – Corporate Trustees/Executors are regulated and monitored by legislation and are held accountable to higher standards than are individual trustees.

 

It would be our pleasure to serve as a Corporate Trustee/Executor in the following capacities:

 

  • Trustee

  • Co-Trustee

  • Agent for Trustee

  • Charitable Trustee

  • Executor

  • Co-Executor

  • Agent for Executor

  • Power of Attorney

It would be our pleasure to serve you.

For more information, please contact us by phone or email.

© 2019 Sorrell Private Trust Company Inc.

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