Being named as an executor can be overwhelming and many people have questions about what their duties entail. Executors often take some steps before the person who named them passes away in order to ease the challenging tasks ahead. Alberta executors responsible for estates belonging to individuals who are seriously ill or aging and may be close to death should be particularly mindful of these preparation steps.
If the papers regarding an estate are not particularly well organized, steps should be taken to make sure they are in proper order. Making contact with the person’s primary bank is a good first step. If the estate planner is too ill to do this, the power of attorney will need to be involved in this.
Once the power of attorney has access to bank accounts, it’s a good idea to take inventory of all pensions the person may be receiving as well as any RRSPs. This will be important for filing the final tax returns. It is also good to take stock of assets in the bank as well as outside of it so that the estate plans are completely clear.
If the executor and power of attorney are the same person, getting an earlier handle on a terminally ill individual’s finances is easier to do. If this is not the case, the power of attorney and executor should work together to get clarity about issues that relate to taxes and estate plans. An Alberta lawyer can help clarify what legally can and should be done to settle peoples’ estates and ensure they are in line with taxation laws.