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Friday, May 12, 2017

The Law Show episode: Executor's duties is now available online

Yesterday's (May 11, 2017) episode of The Law Show was all about executor's duties. We had fun talking about some of the places executors have found wills hidden "in a safe place" by testators, among many other things. Click here to listen to the show. 

Remember that if you have a question about anything to do with wills and estates, and we answer the question on the air, we'll send you a free copy of one of my books. And yes, we'll let you choose which one! Send questions to

We're always open to suggestions for guests and topics, so feel free to use that email address for those suggestions as well. Your feedback is always welcome.


  1. Good day Lynn from Montreal

    A question to you, which may or may not be pertinent to this post:

    Can an executor's conduct be challenged by some but not all of the beneficiaries of a will?

    To be specific: my brother and I have strong reason to suspect our uncle of executor malfeasance. He having proved impossible to reason with and stiff-necked, we two have consequently become more or less estranged from him personally. It is our intention to approach a lawyer to request a Demand Letter. Our sister on the other hand remains very close to this uncle (managing Executor of our late father's estate) and won't hear of taking any action against him in redress of his misuse of the estate's money lest her reltionship with him be jeopardised.

    In the absence of unanimity, are we two entitled nevertheless to challenge his behaviour? Must beneficiaries present a united front to take action?

    Kind thanks in advance for your reply

    1. No, unanimity is not required. Your rights are yours as an individual beneficiary. Your situation is not unusual in the sense that each beneficiary sees things his or her own way and very few lawsuits have absolutely all beneficiaries in agreement.


  2. Can you name a beneficiary on a stock certificate the same way you would with An insurance policy or would you have to designate a beneficiary for them in your will if you didn't want them to form part of your estate...

    1. No you cannot name a beneficiary on a stock certificate.

      If the stock certificate was part of a portfolio that was held in an RRSP or RRIF, then you could name a beneficiary.

      If you want the stock certificate to go to a certain person, you would have to use your will. That doesn't keep it out of the estate though. Just the opposite. Anything covered by your will is in your estate.


  3. Hi Lynne
    The way you help others is amazing !
    My father passed away eight years ago ( mother passed many years before that ) .
    We beneficiaries are four sisters. My two eldest sisters are the executors.
    There were two properties in the estate, of which one was sold last year and the other one has finally been put up for sale recently .  For years the executors have been stalling in settling the estate , citing their busy lives as reasons for the delays and have refused to disclose an accounting of the estate.
    None of the personal items that my father left to each of us in his will has been distributed ( my mom's jewelry and some clothing, artwork, china sets etc... )
    The contents of both properties remain in storage.
    Everyone has received three interim payments  except one sister ( not an executor ) . The reason given is that because she owed my father money, she must first acknowledge a total $ amount owing before any estate money will be paid to her.
    My questions are :
    1) can the executors withhold an interim payment from my youngest sister like that?
    2) are the executors compelled to give us a current accounting ?
    3) should the personal items named in the will have been distributed by now ?
    4) as it has been eight years , should the executors be personally responsible for the huge storage costs ?
    5) how long a time period is too long to settle an estate ?

    Thank you
    Cynthia W.


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