Sherman Law LLP

Estate Administration

The administration of a loved one’s affairs after their death can be a complicated and overwhelming process. Many people who a Will names as executors or estate trustees may have no training or experience in this role, and the variety of duties can be considerable. Others may find themselves unprepared for conflicts with heirs or other interested parties.

Upset and frustrated woman in front of a laptop

The administration of an estate can be complicated and frustrating.

When a spouse, relative, or friend passes away and you have been named as the executor and estate trustee, you may find yourself with many obligations and uncertain as to where to start or what needs to be done. The administration of an estate can be a complicated and time-consuming task for a person that is not experienced in the law.

What are your obligations and where should you start?

In Ontario, the term executor and estate trustee are often used interchangeably and essentially mean the same thing. An executor or estate trustee is the person or persons who will administer the estate. We assist clients in determining assets and values and preparing all of the legal documents necessary to make an application to the Superior Court of Justice for a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee with a Will, which is also known as a Grant of Probate. The Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee with a Will is a court Order that confirms that you have been appointed as the executor of the estate, and is usually a requirement so that financial institutions and others will follow your instructions with regard to the sale or transfer of assets for the purposes of eventual distribution of the estate to the beneficiaries.

What are your responsibilities?

As an executor, your duties and responsibilities begin upon the death of the deceased. Your job is to settle and pay all of the debts of the estate and then gather the assets and distribute the estate as required by the Will. You have personal liability for your work as an executor and estate trustee for an estate. Our team of Kitchener estate administration lawyers can assist you with regard to fulfilling your responsibilities as executor by assisting you with various aspects of the administration to ensure that you are meeting your responsibilities. The estate will reimburse you for any out of pocket expenses that you incur with regard to your role as an executor and estate trustee. Therefore, you should keep detailed receipts during all of your duties as an executor and estate trustee, which will be included in your report to the beneficiaries.

We can help.

Managing an estate and assisting estate trustees requires a law firm with knowledge, diplomacy, compassion, expertise and skill. At Sherman Law LLP, our lawyers work closely with our clients to guide them through their duties and responsibilities as an executor and estate trustee. You can take comfort in the knowledge that if complications arise during your role as an executor and estate trustee, you will have the support of an entire firm of legal professionals with experience in many related fields, including real estate and family law to help you resolve any unforeseen complications in fulfilling your duties on behalf of the estate.

Our firm can assist you in the administration of the estate in order to ensure that you are aware of all of your obligations to the estate and to the beneficiaries. Our Kitchener estate administration lawyers will provide you with objective advice and the support you require during this challenging time, giving you the benefit of over 40 years of firm experience in estate law. The level of our services can be customized to your specific needs.

Our Kitchener estate administration lawyers have experience providing the following services:

  • Interpreting a Will, Codicil or Trust

  • Providing sound legal advice on issues concerning the administration of the estate to protect you from any personal liability

  • Preparing and filing the application for the Certificate of Appointment of an Estate Trustee with (or without) a Will with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to confirm your appointment as the Executor and Estate Trustee

  • Estate probate applications

  • Preparing an advertisement for creditors, if required

  • Assisting in maintaining accurate bookkeeping records

  • Applications for clearance certificates from the Canada Revenue Agency

  • Assisting with the transfer and/or sale of assets

  • Estate Trustee compensation

  • Maintaining detailed accounting records using specialized software in preparation of estate accounts for audit by the court, should passing of accounts be required

  • Notifying beneficiaries and their interest in the estate

  • Distribution of assets to beneficiaries

  • Preparing legal documents and releases for the signature by the beneficiaries when they receive their interim or final share in the estate

  • Assisting with the administration of the estate to protect the Estate Trustee from any personal liability

Do you want to learn more about estate administration?

For over 40 years, clients have trusted in our ability to explain their rights and obligations with respect to estate administration. We are confident that you will appreciate our professional and personalized service. We invite you to browse our website and read the positive things others have to say about us. To benefit from our knowledge, experience, and compassion with respect to your role as an Executor and Estate Trustee, please contact 519-884-0034 or send us an emailMany of our clients are referred to us by former and current clients, as well as by lawyers, accountants, and financial advisors. We serve clients in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph and surrounding areas.

Connect with a lawyer in our firm with expertise in this area

Aubrey J.  Sherman

Aubrey J.  Sherman

Kenneth L. Sherman

Kenneth L. Sherman