Estate Administration
Estate Administration
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The administration of a loved one’s affairs after his or her death can be a complicated and overwhelming process. Many people who are named as estate trustees or executors in a Will have no training or experience in the role. The process of estate administration may seem straightforward; however, technical requirements imposed by various pieces of legislation must be met.

We work closely with you to guide you through the duties and responsibilities as an estate trustee. If complications arise, we will be there to support you and help you navigate these issues. We can assist in:

  • Interpreting a Will or trust
  • Estate probate
  • Estate trustee compensation
  • Distribution of assets to beneficiaries
  • Estate litigation

Duties of a Personal Representative

The personal representative of an estate, also known as the administrator or executor, has many responsibilities, including:

  • Gathering in and safeguarding the assets of the estate
  • Paying the debts of the deceased and estate
  • Distributing assets to beneficiaries
  • Filing the deceased's final tax return and estate returns
  • Cancelling the deceased's charge accounts and subscriptions
  • Informing government agencies, such as Canada Pension Plan, about the death
  • Preparing an estate accounting for the beneficiaries

Consulting with a lawyer early in the estate administration will ensure that the administration proceeds timely and efficiently, eliminating liability, stress and frustration.

March 2020 - 2 min read
A Question of Priorities (If You Want to Administer an Estate)
Appointing a personal representative is one of the first substantive things addressed in a Will and one of the key choices a person can make with respect to their estate plan. When a person dies without a will, someone must apply to the Court to obtain...
December 2019
No Life After Death: Woman Loses Battle to Use Deceased Husband’s Sperm
Surviving spouse loses fight to use reproductive material taken from deceased husband due to lack of consent.  In L.T. v D.T. Estate (Re), 2019 BCSC 2130, the BC Supreme Court dealt with a difficult and challenging application advanced by a s...
May 2019
Act On Your Legal Obligations to Avoid Post-Death Disputes
A recent case from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Birnie v Birnie, 2019 ONSC 2152, has several important lessons for Canadians when it comes to estate planning.  The case is an important reminder to be aware of your existing legal obligati...
June 2018
A Star Extinguished: Anton Yelchin (1989-2016)
Two years ago to this day, a promising young actor's life was cut short by a tragic accident at his Los Angeles home. Anton Yelchin, age 27, was killed in his driveway when his SUV rolled back and pinned him against his security fence and mailbox. ...
April 2018
Is Spousal Support Available After Death?
Perhaps encouraged by the recent decision in Marasse Estate, we have another recent case from the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench addressing an estate’s ability to claim spousal support and its liability to pay spousal support. Stalzer ...
March 2018
Double Duty: Executors’ Tax Filing Obligations
If you dread doing your own taxes, then think twice about becoming an executor of an estate. One of the core duties of a personal representative is to deal with the deceased’s taxes. In Alberta, the duty is contained right in the Surrogate Rules,...
January 2018
North of 60 Series: Estate Administration in the Northwest Territories
I have been on quite the hiatus since last year!  I apologize – I have found that a wills and estates practice inevitably ramps up in the last month of the year on both the planning and litigation sides and last December was no exception. I...
October 2017
You Can Ask for Advice and Directions
Acting as an executor or personal representative is a challenging job. A personal representative is expected to follow the terms of a will, trust document or Court order and to do so prudently and competently. Sometimes, the testator or the s...