The Right Executors Save You Money


When you make or change your will, you must name an executor.

Executors are in charge of all your stuff when you’re gone. It’s easy enough to do. You come up with a name or two. But that does not mean you won’t make mistakes. Yes, executor mistakes can haunt you and your family. The wrong executor can squander your estate.   In this series, I’ll help you avoid choosing the wrong executor. I’ll explain the steps I use with my clients to choose wisely. When I finish posting these steps, I will give you a link to download my free guide Choose Executors Wisely.

My guide is based on over 35 years of my experience. I put the key factors you need to consider in an easy-to-use checklist. You can customize your own checklist with my guide.

What steps should you take to choose the right executor?

In this series, I will give you my best tips. I also explain the 5 factors you must consider to choose executors. Here they are:

  1. Why Choosing Executors is Important
  2. What is Executor Work
  3. Checklist for Executor Choices
  4. Scoring Your Executor Choices
  5. Tips for Choosing an Executor

Why a Guide to Choose the Right Executor?

Ok, Ed, why do I need your guide? You said choosing is easy.

Well, it is if you know how to do it. You probably have never given this much thought.

Are you using a lawyer to make your will? Then you may be afraid to ask your lawyer. It may cost extra to get into the options.

Your lawyer may recommend a trust company he or she works with. You may understand why a trust company works best only in some cases.

Who in Your Family Should be Your Executor?

Most people choose family members.  You know relatives who may be the:

  • most educated
  • most financially secure
  • most honest

But is that all that goes into the decision making process? I am afraid not.

7 Tasks That are Executor Work

Can you expect your executors to do these 7 tasks?

Use this list to understand what is expected of executors. Your executor may have much more or less to deal with.

  1. Take charge of your estate – Act immediately, arrange funerals and notify people of your passing. Will they be available on short notice to do all of this?
  2. Protect your property – Prepare an estate inventory of assets, liabilities and digital information. They must change the locks, protect minors, pets and your valuables.
  3. Hire a lawyer – To interpret the will and to explain procedures, their executor duties and deadlines.
  4. Probate the will – A court my need to certify the original will so executors can sell all assets. This means hiring and working with lawyers.
  5. Pay creditors – If necessary, can they dispute any claims? Will they pay all federal and provincial taxes on time?
  6. Keep records – They must account for every penny received and spent. Are they trustworthy and can they balance a chequing account?
  7. Distribute the estate – When the time comes, 12-18 months later, can they close the estate? Will they expect to be paid executor’s compensation?

So has this list made you re-think your own decisions?

Do you have a simple estate? No real estate to sell or a business to run? You don’t want to base decisions only on who you like.

Sometimes emotions can cloud your reasoning.

You need a checklist to consider. That would include considering what work your estate needs.  That’s what I’ll give you next.

In my next post, Choosing Who Protects Your Money Made Easy, you get an easy Checklist for Your Executor Choices.

If you need a personal consultation to get the right executor, please contact me now.

About Edward Olkovich

Executors facing estate challenges call upon Ed Olkovich who is a Toronto estate lawyer and Certified Specialist in Estates and Trusts Law. Ed is an author and edits Carswell’s legal guide Compensation and Duties of Estate Trustees, Guardians and Attorneys. He has resolved estate disputes and probate problems since 1978. © 2016