As the Grey Tsunami grows the Government of Ontario is increasing the reporting responsibilities of an Executor to ensure that assets reported when a will is probated are not understated. The draft details of the new reporting obligations are posted to the Government of Ontario website at http://bit.ly/1yxP8ee.
We can only guess how many more fiduciary responsibilities will be assigned to Executors, however the Government of Ontario’s need to balance their budget each year will likely bring new responsibilities that an Executor must manage.
There is increasing importance for Executors to be informed of all their fiduciary responsibilities and for every individual to provide complete disclosure of their financial affairs for their Executor.
While the Executor is responsible to the Canada Revenue Agency for the completeness and accuracy of the deceased’s tax filings (past, final and estate) to ensure that all taxes have been paid, the Ontario Ministry of Finance now wants to ensure that the applicable fees for probate have been paid. Thus the Executor must ensure that not only are all taxes paid, but all fees are paid as well. The repercussions are not detailed in the amendment.
A description of the requirements can be found at http://bit.ly/12admQ3 from the Hull and Hull LLP website.
It can be complicated and confusing to determine the appropriate method for managing your estate. Depending on the advisor consulted there will be options:
- Title to real estate. As described in this Toronto Star Article by Bob Aaron, a Toronto Real Estate lawyer. “New tax scrutiny for will-bestowed real estate” http://on.thestar.com/1y5gloH
- Insurance to cover probate fees, income taxes and other liabilities; or
- Liquidation of existing assets to cover liabilities.
Overriding any financial planning completed during your lifetime there is an even greater need to communicate with your Executor in advance or have the information your executor requires available to perform their fiduciary responsibilities when needed.
If you have been appointed an Executor it is important to understand the responsibilities you have been asked to assume. For further information we refer you to www.executor-services.ca