Death of a Loved One

What you need to know

The death of your spouse or a loved one can mean changes in your life and your life goals.

The Joel Cogan group can help with strategies and advice for balancing your priorities and making progress towards achieving your financial goals if this death changes your situation.

Take this opportunity to review your priorities and consider asking these questions:

  • How do I transfer my spouse’s investment assets into my name and what documents will I need?

  • Will I need to create a new investment portfolio?

  • Do I need a new Will?

  • How will my estate plans change?

  • Should I consider transferring assets to my family now?

  • How will my budget change?

  • I may decide to sell my home, what are the implications?

  • Will I need new or different insurance coverage?

  • What is involved in being an Executor?


The Role of Executor:

On the death of your spouse or a loved one or friend you may find that you have been named as the Executor (or Executrix) of a Will. The Executor could also be a trusted friend or an advisor or even a trust company.

If the deceased did not have a Will or the Will did not name an Executor then the Surrogate or Probate Court will have to be approached and the court will appoint an appropriate person as the representative. This person is called the Administrator and fulfills the same role as the Executor.

Executors carry out the terms of the Will, pay any estate debts, and perhaps make funeral arrangements. Disposition of an estate is a provincial/territorial concern and each jurisdiction has basic rules outlining what the Executor must do. Many properly drafted Wills will also lay out specific responsibilities or powers given to the Executor which actually makes the process simpler.

Executors are responsible for paying probate fees on the estate. These fees are essentially provincial/territorial death taxes applied to the value of the deceased's assets. They are calculated based on a percentage. Therefore, the larger the estate the higher the probate fees. Probate fees are theoretically intended to pay the costs government incurs to settle a deceased’s affairs. These are a provincial concern and vary quite widely across the country.

No one wants the responsibility to have to deal with the death of a loved one. We are here to help in any way that we can to bring clarity and understanding to those left behind. Should you have any questions on pre-planning or you have found yourself in this situation, do not hesitate to call our office to see how we can help.