Assessing Assets as an Executor

If you are the executor or administrator of an estate, taking account of the assets of a recently deceased loved one can get very complicated. Moving residences prior to death or incomplete financial records can mean hidden assets where you, as the executor, might not expect them.

As an executor, you are undoubtedly aware of the obvious assets — for instance, belongings, savings, and investments. But even within these categories, there are assets for which you may not have accounted. For instance, did the deceased receive pension from CPP/QPP? If so, the estate may be eligible for a one-time payment from CPP — but it must be applied for. Another thing to consider is whether there are any loans owed to the deceased. Staying aware of possible hidden assets could mean a positive inflow of cash despite the difficult time that is surely ahead for you and your family.

There may also exist some assets related to the obvious ones. The deceased may have held property — but how much? Did he or she have property in another city? another province or state? overseas? etc. He or she may have had investments — where? Are they documented? Be thorough in your investigations.

Finally, be aware that there may be hidden value in assets that may seem ordinary, or that may not occur to you as assets at all. Check the pockets of all the deceased’s clothing, look in closets and on shelves, and be sure to account for anything that may be worth something.

Finally, as an executor, finding monetary value in objects is a good practice — but there are any number of ways to find value in the belongings and assets of your loved one. The process of accounting for assets may be beneficial to an executor in more ways than one.

More Information so-youve-been-appointed-executorIf you are an the executor of an estate, So You’ve Been Appointed Executor by lawyer and author Tom Carter is a title that helps explain your duties as executor.

It (and other titles dealing with wills and estates) is available in our Web store where you can preview the contents.

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2 thoughts on “Assessing Assets as an Executor

  1. my husband is named executor of his fathers will. his father, still alive, is 90 and in poor health.he has a live in companion and will not disclose any financial,medical or any other information.my husband is only living immediate family member.does his livein companion have any legal right to his residence? his father suffers from dementia and his mobility is very restricted. we have learned that his bills are all overdue,his credit cards have been put in collections and he has not been paying his bills. he gets furious when we confront him about all these issues and feel he needs a fulltime nurse as his companion works fulltime away from the house. he can well afford a nurse but refuses to discuss anything with us. is there any way for my husband to take over his finances and healthcare decisions ? it is clearly obvious to us that his health is deteriorating due to lack of constant care that he wont admit he needs. we love him very much and fear our attempted interference would anger him and isolate him further. please help. thank you very much. God bless

    1. You are unfortunately in a very difficult situation. The following applies to Ontario:The Substitute Decisions Act of 1992 allows people to apply to the court to be appointed as the guardian of property, or a person, or both, when a person is found mentally incapable. However, the court may prove reluctant to appoint a guardian if the live-in companion challenges the appointment. Our advice is to approach a lawyer for help if you want to pursue this course of action. Regarding the question of whether the live-in companion has any legal rights to his residence: Ontario does not yet deem living together for two years as equalling marriage (only BC does that), but it is possible that your father ay have changed his will. Even if that is not the case and the house is bequeathed to your husband, your father's companion would likely have a right to a reasonable period of occupancy after his passing, to allow the individual time to make new housing arrangements. Richard Day

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