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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Executor and trustee for lengthy trust

When you are in the process of planning your Will, you should try to choose an executor who is as suitable as possible for carrying out the plans you're setting up. Rather than simply naming the first person who comes to mind, think about the tasks your executor and trustee are going to have to carry out and try to think of someone who can do those tasks.

Some Wills contain trusts that are expected to go on for years. For example, you might make a Will leaving money to your son, who is now 16 years old, in a trust that will hold his money for him until he is 30. That rust would last for 14 years. Or you might leave your estate in a family trust that will be used for the benefit of your spouse, children and grandchildren during their lifetimes. A trust like that could go on for 60 years.

Who could you appoint as your executor and trustee that is still going to be able and willing to carry on with the trust in 60 years? If you appoint someone your age, remember that as you age, so do they. Therefore they might not be alive and mentally competent to continue to handle your trust for many years after you have passed away.

If you make a Will leaving your estate in a trust that is likely to exist for many years, you might consider appointing a trust company so that you do not run into a problem with one or more of your executors passing away, becoming ill or losing their mental capacity, which would leave your estate in limbo. A trust company has more longevity than an individual person.

When using a trust company to handle a trust in a Will, the trust company will charge an annual fee for the administration of the trust. However, there are no sign-up fees and no fees while you are alive; nothing is charged until you have passed away and the trust company begins to do the work they were hired to do.

If you ever want to ask questions about what a trust company does, what we charge, or whether we'd be a good choice for a lengthy trust in your Will, feel free to leave a question here, or email me at any time at There is never any charge to talk to me about this.


  1. I want my daughter whom lives out of the country to be my exrcutor of my will and the lawyer told me she would have to put up bonds to do so as she is not in Canada even though she is Canadian..............?

  2. What the lawyer told you is correct. Assuming that you live in Alberta, your lawyer is referring to Rule 28 of our Surrogate Rules of Court, which says:

    "28(1) Subject to subrule (2), a personal representative who is not a resident of Alberta must provide a bond.

    (2) A personal representative is not required to provide a bond if

    (a) the personal representative is resident in Alberta, or

    (b) there are 2 or more personal representatives and one of them is resident in Alberta.

    (3) If a non-resident personal representative must provide a bond, the bond must be from an insurer licensed under the Insurance Act to undertake contracts of guarantee insurance as defined in section 1(1)(q) of the Classes of Insurance Regulation (AR 121/2001).

    (4) A bond must be for an amount equal to

    (a) the gross value of the deceased’s property in Alberta,


    (b) if the court so orders, any amount distributable to the personal representative as a beneficiary.

    AR 130/95 s28;7/2005"

    Note that a "personal representative" is the same as an executor and trustee. If you live in another province, the rule will be substantially the same.

    When you read the rule, you'll notice that it's possible to ask a justice of the Court of Queen's Bench to dispense with the bond, but there is no guarantee that you will get what you ask for.

    You'll note that if you have two co-executors, one of whom lives in the province, there is no bonding requirement. You might consider getting a trust company to act as co-executors with your daughter to get rid of the bonding issue.

    Hope this helps.


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