Ontario Executors Require Answers to Questions: When should executors get help from professionals?

When should executors get help from professionals?

The sooner you get advice the better. You want advice to protect yourself and the estate.

Don’t assume that the same professionals the deceased used will meet your needs or standards.

You can interview or meet with several lawyers before you hire one. In Ontario, any provision in a will asking you to hire the lawyer who made the will is not legally binding. Lawyers must confirm they gave you this advice before you hire them.

Preparing papers to probate a will is legal work. It is not your job as executor. Your lawyer should explain the difference between executor and legal services.

You pay professionals out of the estate funds. Be sure to ask your lawyer to explain your responsibilities and deadlines.

Record the advice you receive from your advisors. Bad legal advice may not be a defense if you make mistakes.

You need professional investment advice to handle stocks and bonds. As an executor you need not be perfect. You must act like a prudent person would in similar circumstances.

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