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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

It's not easy being an executor - almost 50 tasks, poll finds

Think you can handle being an executor? If so, you may be in the minority. BMO has released an interesting poll that shows that most people underestimate just how tough it is to be an executor. Click here to read an article from the Financial Post about the poll and find out what others just like you think about their stint as an executor.


  1. Becoming someones personal representative is a thankless job and most certainly not something for everyone.

    A good executor or administrator needs a mix of business skills, accounting skills, knowledge of income tax law and a solid grounding in estate law to be successful and stay out of trouble.

    You will need to be objective at every step of the way and not allow your emotions to guide your decisions. In many cases will also need a strong stomach and be capable of functioning effectively in an environment of conflict.

    Unless the estate is a very simple one, along the way you WILL need the assistance of income tax and legal professionals.

    Expect the process to take at least two years to complete if no enduring trust is created by the will to administer in which case the responsibility may endure for a very long time.

    You will find that the beneficiaries will resent the fact that you are to be paid for the services you render, even though it is through your efforts alone that they receive any of their inheritance from the estate. This is especially true when you are a personal representative and a beneficiary or heir-at-law at the same time.

    If you are nominated in someones will to be their executor, think very very carefully and seek legal advise before accepting the appointment.

    Money truly does bring out the very worst in people.

  2. That sounds like the voice of experience to me. Your closing line is so very true. Another comment of yours resonates with me: "the beneficiaries will resent the fact that you are to be paid for your services". This is something that is almost never considered when someone is choosing an executor, though it should be.

    Thanks for adding your comments and advice for the readers.



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