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​Duties of the Executor

Duties of the Executor of a Will

Karen G. Shin


This article provides information only, not legal advice. If you have a legal problem or need legal advice, contact us at

If you were appointed to act as an executor of an estate, you must quickly decide whether or not you accept the appointment.  Once you decide to accept the appointment, you need take steps to carry out your duties as the executor of the estate.  As the appointment of executorship comes with a host of responsibilities and liabilities, we recommend that you seek legal advice before taking any steps as an executor. In most cases, the executor is one of the family members of the deceased, and will quickly become burdened with many responsibilities. 

While making funeral arrangements is obvious to many, there are other essential steps that an executor must take. The following is not an exhaustive list of such steps, and we recommend that the executor obtain legal advice as soon as practicable: 

•       Gather up and make an inventory of all assets including cash, funds, uncashed cheques, jewellery, and other valuables.

•       Find out whether the deceased had any insurance policies.

•       Apply for death benefits.

•       What major payments must be made and at what frequency? (eg. Mortgage payments, etc.)

•       Cancel the Deceased's credit cards.

•       Are there any unusual cheques written or payments made by the deceased shortly before death?  Are there any suspicious ones?

•       Arrange for safekeeping of assets of the deceased:

  •      Is proper insurance in place?  When do these insurance policies expire?
  •      Are there any vacancy provisions that affect the coverage?

If you have any questions about the above, or if you are in need of legal advice, please contact us at 604-294-0101 to schedule a free initial consultation.

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