Who Inherits Your Money?

Okay, you’re not King Tut. You’re not going to take it with you. You’ll need a will.

Do you know what happens to your money when you die?

If you don’t have a will, here are three key things to know:

• your spouse or children do not automatically get all your money
• your minor children will not be protected
• your family will need costly court orders

Somebody must first find your money.  That somebody is your executor, called your estate trustee in Ontario.  Before they can collect your money, they need legal authority to act for you. They will hire an estate lawyer to get advice and go to court.

Why invest in a professionally prepared will?

You can choose a person you trust to be your estate executor or estate trustee. For simplicity, let’s refer to this person as your executor.

The executor will be in control of all of your money.

Executors can sell your property once their authority is confirmed by an estate court.

Getting Probate

This process is referred to as “getting probate” of a will. In Ontario, this is called getting a certificate of appointment of estate trustee.

The estate court certifies who represents you when you are gone.  The court issues a certificate confirming your executor and who shares in your estate.  Your executor can then administer your estate.

They collect all your money, pay taxes and bills and distribute the residue to your family.

Want more tips on being an executor?

Get my two free mrwills.com guides to Executor Duties – What You Need to Know and Executor Mistakes – 10 Things Executors Must Never Do.