This is a great question, and it’s one we get asked all the time here at Litco Law. Before we get into the nitty gritty, it might help you to know that Alberta’s Courts use the term ‘Personal Representative’ instead of ‘executor.’
A Personal Representative is responsible for managing and distributing the deceased’s property and assets, and taking care of any last wishes he or she might have had. An experienced probate or estate lawyer will be able to help ensure that the process is done correctly. Many of the tasks for a Personal Representative are related to financial matters, taxes, and various related paperwork, so you will want to select someone you can trust to handle these responsibilities. Ideally, the person you choose to be your Personal Representative is someone that is mature and organized, preferably with some basic financial knowledge. You may also want to consider setting aside money in your Will as payment for the level of responsibility and work that your Personal Representative has been given. We can help you figure out what is a reasonable payment.
A properly written Will names at least one Personal Representative (sometimes more than one, and a backup is recommended) but if no Will exists, or no one has been named, it is up to the Court to appoint someone. A friend or family member can request a Grant of Administration, and they are usually the Court’s first choice. Keep in mind that the application process can be lengthy and complicated, and usually puts pause on distributing the estate until an Administrator has been chosen.
Have questions about writing or revising your Will? Looking to appoint a Personal Representative? Or maybe you’ve recently been named as a Personal Representative? Call or email us today, or send us a message in the chat!