If you have been appointed an executor, trustee, or attorney of a loved one or their estate, there are several important legal issues that must be addressed in a timely fashion to protect the estate and the beneficiaries, and to limit your exposure and risk. Your first step should be to consult with an experienced estate lawyer as soon as possible before you proceed any further in your new role.
NULaw and its predecessors have been providing guidance and legal advice to executors, trustees, and attorneys in Toronto for over 60 years. Our forward-thinking estate lawyer, Lex Arbesman, helps clients understand their legal responsibilities and obligations, provide them with the information they need to make informed decisions, and manage their potential legal liability.
An executor is a person appointed by a testator (the person making a will) and named in the will to carry out the testator’s wishes and directions.
An estate trustee is a person appointed by a testator to care for the property in a trust for the benefit of the beneficiaries of that trust.
Both the executor-beneficiary and trustee-trust relationships are fiduciary, and create a duty of care by the executor or trustee towards the beneficiaries or trust. As a result, the executor or trustee is legally bound to act in good faith and make decisions that are in the best interest of the beneficiaries or trust. A breach of this fiduciary duty can have serious legal and financial implications on the executor or trustee.
Attorneys, also known as substitute decision-makers, are responsible for managing the personal care or financial affairs of an individual who is no longer capable of doing so themselves.
Substitute decision-makers are appointed by the person whose affairs they will ultimately be responsible for, prior to that person losing their capacity, through a power of attorney.
If you have been appointed an executor, trustee, or attorney, the estate lawyer at NULaw as soon as possible. We can:
NULaw provides executors, trustees, and attorneys with fulsome advice on their responsibilities and obligations, and will help them mitigate any legal risks and liabilities, so that they are protected and the best interests of the beneficiaries and estate are maintained. Contact us online or at 416-481-5604 for a consultation.