Responsibilities of Executor/Executrix
- Arrange for the funeral if it has not already been done.
- Arrange for the funeral expenses to be paid from the
- Attend to personal matters, such as discontinuing
utilities and re-routing mail.
- Return or destroy charge cards.
- Cancel subscriptions or charge accounts.
- Gather information regarding the beneficiaries, including
full names and birth dates.
- Gather information regarding other family members,
including full names and birth dates
- Review contents of all safety deposit boxes and other
- Gather information regarding the estate inventory.
- Locate all bank accounts and notify the respective
account managers of the death.
- Obtain all unpaid wages and other benefits from former
- Locate and analyze any life insurance policies and file
- Analyze inventory to determine which assets form part of
- Arrange for the storage of any assets if required.
- Value the estate assets.
- Review the possibility of special valuation on farm and
business real estate.
- Protect assets before probate.
- Advertise for creditors.
- Probate will.
- File claims for pension and profit sharing, and social
security and military benefits, if applicable.
- Open bank accounts for the estate.
- Pay all debts of the estate.
- Obtain prior years' income tax returns to compare with
assets, i.e., interest income declared, etc.
- Obtain comparative financial statements for any closely
- Decide whether any assets should be sold.
- Schedule cash needs of the estate.
- Obtain appraisals on real and personal property.
- Obtain a list of the deceased's debts.
- Allow for safeguarding of any assets distributed to
- Prepare an accounting statement regarding distribution of
- File a personal tax return for the deceased for the year
of his/her death by the later of six (6) months following
the date of death or April 30th of the following year.
- Consult an accountant regarding the filing of other
returns for the deceased where the deceased had
"rights or things", partnership or business
income, or income from a testamentary trust.
- Consider post-mortem tax planning.
- If the deceased died without filing income tax returns
for any previous taxation years, these should also be
- Select a "taxation year" for the estate and
file all income tax returns as and when required.
- Keep proper accounts of estate assets.
- Obtain a Clearance Certificate from Revenue Canada. Every
executor or executrix, before liquidating or transferring
any property of a deceased taxpayer must obtain a
certificate from Revenue Canada Taxation certifying that
all income taxes, interest and penalties have been paid.
Any transfer of property without the certificate renders
the executor or executrix liable for the unpaid income
taxes, interest and penalties.