September 08, 2021 by Jen Schreurs
Associate Jen Schreurs regularly advises clients in the practice areas of wills, trusts, estate and incapacity planning, estate administration, residential and commercial real estate, property matters, corporate transactions and business law.In this edition of Legal Matters, Jen discusses that being named an executor or trustee for a final Will is an honour but can also be rather overwhelming. She explains that one of the duties of an executor is to treat each beneficiary fairly and not to play favourites.
Hello, I'm Jen Schreurs. Being asked to be the executor and trustee of a loved one Will can feel like an honour, but there are also several responsibilities, and it does not take much for this to become overwhelming. On top of the obvious responsibilities such as filing tax returns and distributing the estate, there are fiduciary duties that you, as a trustee, owe to the estate. One of these duties is the duty to remain impartial amongst the beneficiaries of an estate. This means that the trustee must treat all beneficiaries fairly and cannot favour any one beneficiary over the others. When a Will is drafted, there are often multiple levels of beneficiaries. It can become difficult to navigate when you are required to consider the interests of all levels of beneficiaries, some of whom may be unborn. Before making any distributions from an estate, you should get legal and accounting advice to make sure you are meeting all of the requirements.