Ontario Executors Require Answers to Questions: How do I know I am the executor?

How do I know I am the executor?

Did a relative tell you that you are their executor?

Executors, or estate trustees in Ontario, must be named in a will. You must find an original signed will to confirm you are appointed. It is a person’s last will that names you as his or her estate executor.

Your first step is to locate the original will. Read the will to confirm this for yourself. Wills are often amended by a document called a codicil. Confirm with a lawyer that the will was not changed.

If you find a homemade will, get legal advice. Only a lawyer can express a legal opinion if a will is legally valid.

In Ontario, a holographic (handwritten) will can be valid. These wills are signed and entirely in the deceased’s own handwriting. No witnesses are required.

You may have been told in advance that you were named executor. If so, you must know where to find the original will. Ideally, you should also ask the will-maker to prepare an estate inventory. This would include assets, liabilities and digital passwords.

About Edward Olkovich

I am a Toronto estate lawyer and Certified Specialist in Estates and Trusts Law. I edit Carswell’s legal guide Compensation and Duties of Estate Trustees, Guardians and Attorneys. I have handled estate disputes and probate problems since 1978. © 2015