Ontario Executors Require Answers to Questions: When can executors take charge of the estate?

When can executors take charge of the estate?

Your appointment as executor is effective when a person dies. A deceased person’s property legally “vests” in you as their personal representative, executor, or estate trustees. That’s a way of saying you become the legal—but not registered owner—of all a deceased person’s property.

If you are named as an executor in the will, you can deal with the deceased’s property. This gives you sufficient authority to arrange a funeral. You will be able to access safety deposit boxes to locate the original will.

You will need to produce (a) a death certificate, (b) identification to prove you are the legal representative, plus (c) a copy of the will if available. You may need a lawyer’s letter to introduce you to a bank.

You can take certain steps to secure estate assets. This can include steps to:
•    change locks,
•    secure valuables,
•    insure assets.

You should always speak with a lawyer before acting. Once you represent yourself as an estate executor, you assume legal duties. Get legal advice to protect yourself. There are many negative consequences of acting imprudently or improperly.

You will need to probate the will before you can sell assets.  Want to learn more about your work as executor? Ask for a consultation. Get legal advice to protect yourself.

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