What to Expect

Know what to expect as an heir.

Heirs should expect:

  • that nothing will happen right away. The executor must first be recognized by the probate court for them to be authorized to act.
  • that probate fees will be paid from the estate.
  • that the executor will show you the full will (after the testator has died) if you're a residual beneficiary of the estate (but they won't if you aren't, for privacy reasons) .
  • that the executor should conduct themselves legally at all times.
  • to receive regular updates throughout the estate settlement process.
  • to be kept apprised of next steps in the process and the estimated time each will require.
  • to have your questions answered properly within a reasonable time frame.
  • to see very little progress in the estate settlement if all the heirs are calling the executor for updates every day.
  • to be treated respectfully at all times.
  • to be treated fairly, subject to the terms of the will, which may not always be fair, though this isn't the responsibility or fault of the executor.
  • for the executor to be reasonable in considering the need to cooperate regarding underwriting should an heir wish to apply for an Inheritance Loan (for more information click here) .
  • to be informed about the decisions the executor is making and the reasoning behind these decisions.
  • to have any hardship financial issues considered by the executor, in the event any funds might be available prior to the final disbursement.
  • to receive their inheritance only after all bills, debts and taxes have been paid and the executor has received the tax clearance certificate from the Canada Revenue Agency.
  • that any property they may inherit will be maintained in the condition it was in at the time of death.
  • that any and all property will continue to be insured, utilities maintained and property taxes kept up-to-date.
  • that should the executor decide to obtain executor insurance (for more information, click here) that premiums for the insurance will be an expense of the estate.
  • to generally receive the inheritance on an after-tax basis.
June 20th, 2024