The cornerstone of your plan
A valid will is the cornerstone of any estate plan. In your will, you can outline how you want your assets distributed, arrange for the ongoing care of your dependants, name guardians for your minor children, or make a bequest to charity.
If you die without a will, your belongings will be administered and distributed according to the laws of the province or territory you live in. Those you leave behind may have to apply to the courts for support from your estate, which can be a stressful and time-consuming process. There is no assurance that your assets will be distributed according to your wishes.
Your executor is the person named in your will who is responsible for administering your estate and carrying out your final wishes. Your executor has many responsibilities, including paying your final debts out of your estate, filing your final tax return, and managing your investments and other assets until they are distributed.
Choosing your executor is an important decision, so make it carefully. You want to name someone you trust, preferably someone who has some experience and capability in personal financial management. You may consider naming a trust company or lawyer as co-executor.