Estate beneficiary advice: The executor role not easy

March 13th, 2018 in Estate Beneficiary Advice


There are instances when an executor of a will is also a beneficiary of the will. The duties of an executor in Ontario aren’t for the faint of heart. There are many things associated with the task and having some estate beneficiary advice to move forward may help the process. When the executor is the adult child of the testator — or the one who has written the will — it can be doubly stressful since there may be other family members to appease as well.

There is no sugar-coating it. An executor’s duties can be a chore, and it is sometimes a job in itself and for an executor who is also grieving. It can be a lot to handle.  The person so named should be prepared to invest some time in accomplishing all the tasks and would do well to keep copious and complete records of all transactions. With new estate rules in Ontario, executors must now complete a seven-page Estate Information Return that asks for many details regarding taxes, bank accounts and assets.


If mistakes are made in valuations on this return, an executor may be held liable. He or she has only 90 days from when the will was probated to complete the return. That return could be audited at any time within four years of it being filed.

Being an executor and a beneficiary can be nerve-wracking. But getting legal advice can make the road less rocky. An experienced Ontario lawyer may be able to offer estate beneficiary advice to ensure all the i’s have been dotted and the t’s have been crossed. Estate administration is complex, but a lawyer’s guidance may make those tasks involved less stressful.


Source:, “Being executor of a will likely ‘most stressful experience you’ll ever have’“, Augusta Dwyer, Accessed on March 3, 2018