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The Grateful Executor seminar coming

Most executors, when asked if they would ever take that task on again, answer with a resounding “No”. Although honoured when first appointed Executor, many quickly realize they lack the legal know-how to properly administer an Estate when called upon.

Most Canadians are either named as Executor in a Will or have a Will of their own in which they’ve named an Executor.  As Executor, certain duties must be performed, within a certain timeframe and in a specific order. Vehicle ownership must be transferred, terminal tax returns filed, taxes paid (including the possibility of capital gains tax), property transferred, accounts closed and accurate records kept. The average estate in Canada takes 18 months to settle. Even a little planning by the testator (writer of the will) now can make a big difference to the executor later when called upon.

“Executors, usually at a very emotional and stressful time in their lives, need to complete a task they have never done—or did once twenty years ago. They are required to find and gather specific documentation, know who to contact and where the government offices are, pay for numerous fees…for many, it is daunting,” says Kevin Holte, seminar presenter and B.C. representative for Peacehold, Inc.  “That’s why we are thrilled to be able to provide this important information, information that can save families unnecessary headaches and estate settlement costs”.

“It never ceases to amaze me how often a death in the family is the spark that ignites the underlying flame of sibling rivalry or perceived parental favouritism…add money to the mix and the executor can be looking at a Molotov cocktail of stress,” says Mr. Holte, “I’ve seen a lot of preventable confusion—just a little bit of preparedness can go a long way in making things easier for the loved ones. For example, I just finished talking with a lady in Burnaby who was in tears—she has spent two years trying to fix a problem with her late husband’s will that was going to cost her thousands of dollars in probate fees…all because of one little oversight.  Had they reviewed the will before he passed away, the oversight would have been caught, and she wouldn’t be facing the difficulties with the courts she is presently facing.”

“One of the most common mistakes people make is trying too hard to avoid probate fees. People need to be aware of the risks when they joint their home with one of their kids, because sometimes the cure is worse than the disease” adds Mr. Holte.

Barb Houser, one of the premier consultants for pre-arranged cremation or burial plans in the Kootenays and one of the seminar’s hosts, is enthusiastic about the seminar’s content. “It is important for the average person to walk away from the seminar with some real understanding and tangible steps they can take to make their executor’s job easier.  That’s exactly what these seminars provide, and they are presented in simple English so even the most ‘rookie’ testator or executor will benefit. When this seminar was held in Cranbrook, over 200 people came and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive…people said they were surprised that such a serious subject could end up being so much fun—they loved it!”

Everyone is invited to attend.  Topics include an understanding of the executor’s legal responsibilities along with a realistic expectation of costs and timelines, time-saving and money-saving tips, dangers of joint ownership, explanation of probate, capital gains tax overview, funeral pre-planning information as well as cremation options.

“The Grateful Executor” seminar will be held Tuesday November 6 at 7 PM at the Best Western, 1310-7th Avenue, Invermere and again on Wednesday, November 7th in Fernie at Cherished Memories, 8891 4th Avenue.  To register, call 250-417-3285 or email darylbarbhouser@telus.net

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