2. Don't choose the wrong executor — an executor can inadvertently cost your estate money
The duties of an executor include making funeral arrangements, determining the value of all estate assets and liabilities, filing individual and estate tax returns, collecting any insurance proceeds, and accounting for the estate financial activities. Your executor will need to have the time as well as the skills and expertise to deal with many parties, including lawyers, accountants, financial institutions, insurance companies, government agencies and beneficiaries, some of whom may be located in other cities, provinces, or countries.
"For many estates, a corporate executor, named either as the sole executor or a co-executor, is an excellent option," adds Mr. Golombek. “Not only does it relieve your family and friends of a difficult burden and time-consuming task, it can actually save you thousands of dollars." He cites an example of how tax expertise can impact an estate. "CIBC Trust routinely encounters estate situations of elderly individuals who were unaware they qualified for the disability tax credit. An executor can amend personal tax returns on a post-mortem basis to claim this credit and save the estate thousands of dollars in tax." He emphasizes, "The disability tax credit varies by province, but in Ontario, for example, this can equal approximately $1,500 annually."