Executors & Administrators

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What does an Executor have to do?

    The Executor is the personal representative of the estate. Usually the Executor has to probate the will. This is an application to the Court to have the will proven as valid before the estate is looked after.

    Other things that the Executor will do include:

    • Make funeral arrangements and pay for these from the estate
    • Pay debts of the deceased from the estate
    • Collect money owing to the deceased
    • File final tax returns for the deceased and the estate
    • Distribute the estate according to the Will
    • Keep a record of the money received and paid by the estate
  • Is an Executor paid to look after the estate?

    Executors can be paid an amount from the estate. This amount must be fair and reasonable based on how complex the estate is. The amount may be a percentage of the estate’s value. Disputes about the amount that an Executor is to be paid can be decided by the court.

  • Can my Executor also be a beneficiary of the estate?

    Yes.

  • Does my Executor have to be resident in Manitoba?

    No. Your Executor does not have to live in Manitoba. However, it is simpler for your Executor to carry out the duties of an Executor if he or she lives in the same province. Therefore, you should consider appointing an Executor that lives in Manitoba.

  • Can I name my 17 year old daughter as Executor of my will?

    An Executor in Manitoba must be 18 years old to act. If the Executor of an estate is a minor, a guardian would act on their behalf until they are 18.

  • What do I need to think about when choosing an Executor for my will?

    An Executor can be anybody you choose. In Manitoba, you must be at least 18 years old to carry out the duties of an Executor on your own. You might choose to name a spouse, friend, relative, business partner, trust company, lawyer or accountant as Executor. Who is best for you will depend on your situation. You can name more than one person as Executor. It is wise to name an alternate person to act as Executor in case your first choice can’t or won’t do it.

    Being an Executor can be a difficult and time consuming job. Some of the things to think about when choosing your Executor are:

    • The size and complexity of your estate
    • If you want to have your affairs handled by a stranger or someone you know
    • Whether the person is willing and able to accept the position
  • I have been named as an Executor of a will and I don’t want to do it. Is there anything I can do?

    You can file a Renunciation of Probate form (Form 74O) with the court to remove yourself as the Executor of the estate. The form can be obtained from the Queen’s Printer – Statutory Publications Office:

  • My neighbour named me as Executor and had no assets, only debts. Am I personally liable?

    No. You are not personally liable for the debts of a deceased individual. The estate of that individual is liable. If there are insufficient assets to satisfy the outstanding debts you may need to explain that in writing to the creditors. If you are still having difficulties with the creditors you may want to consult with a lawyer.

  • What is the difference between an Executor and an Administrator?

    An Executor is someone who was appointed in a will to deal with an estate and an Administrator is someone who is appointed by the court after an application.

  • Who can apply to be Administrator of an estate when there is no will?

    The next of kin has the first right to apply to be Administrator of the estate. When determining who the next of kin is, common-law spouses are considered spouses.

  • Does an Administrator of an estate have to be a resident of Manitoba?

    Yes.

  • How long does it take to administer an estate?

    The time is takes to administer an estate depends on the complexity of the estate and the amount of property involved. For example, there may be a need to liquidate property or there may be items or real estate in other jurisdictions that need to be dealt with.

  • Can a witness to my will also be a beneficiary?

    If a beneficiary or spouse of a beneficiary witnesses a will, the gift to them is not valid unless a court says otherwise. Therefore it is advisable that beneficiaries or spouses of beneficiaries do not witness wills.