I can’t find anyone to be the executor of my will. What should I do?

I live in a small town and don’t know anybody here. And sadly, my situation with my relatives is complicated.

Jennifer

Jennifer

Kimberley, BC

It’s unfortunate to hear that you can't find an executor. This is a key role to ensure your estate is distributed properly. 

But there are options. You can ask a lawyer or notary public in your area to be your executor, or at least discuss the issue with them. They would charge a fee to act as executor. The cost would vary, depending on where you live and how complex your will is. 

There are also professional trust companies that provide executor services (again, for a fee). How this might work is explained here.

Family members or close friends who act as executor often choose not to charge a fee. But they’re entitled to. Anyone who you name as executor can charge reasonable fees (up to 5% of the estate value) to your estate for their efforts. Where the will doesn’t say anything about the amount of compensation for the executor, the beneficiaries will often agree on a reasonable amount.

For more guidance, this page more fully explains what to keep in mind in choosing an executor.

Kevin Smith

Kevin Smith

Retired lawyer and consultant
  • This information applies to British Columbia, Canada
  • Reviewed for legal accuracy in December 2021

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