Sunday, December 8, 2013
JUST DON'T DIE!!
Dear old DAD
Passed away last week and he gave me a very important job. Little did I know my training would come into effect. After I completed a lot of running around and on the LULL side of my executor activities, I decided to write a post. No one warned me about the duties ahead and the complications that I had met and only me would find all the loopholes that could present itself. Dad left a perfect will, straight forward and precise. In the execution of my new "JOB" a complication arose BUT he raised a smart daughter who hired a smart lawyer to advise me was the smartest thing I did! Problem solved!
Sit back and pour a coffee and if you are an executor make yourself scarce, better yet leave the country > HAHA that didn't work notice I am in the cold north!! As I took my post in Ontario I though it would be an idea to share my highjinx in the past week. If you are planning to die, save everyone DON"T.
Have you ever heard of the word Executor or Execturix.
If you haven’t start now to engrave these terms engraved in your cerebellum.
If you have and your name is used in the same sentence as either of the above, RUN!!!
Recently I found myself with that oh so glorious title, no pay and a ton of excitement. It was then that I decided to create my blog on being an Executor
Things to know:
1) Obtain not one, not two but 10 copies of the will and a photocopy wont do they need to be seen by every officials office that you need to visit,and they need to be notarized!
2) Death Certificates- get 20 better more than not enough. Every banker, government body that you deal with wants one and your out of town guests will want one for the air fare reduction and hotels
3) Now the fun begins you are well armed and you first want to cancel that Government Canadian Pension plan and Old age pension and apply for the survivor pension . The One form that cancels the CPP also cancels the AOS. The Survivor Pension is filled in one half by the executor and the second half by the surviving spouse. Oh and dig through you records you will need a NOTARIZED copy of the marriage certificate ( 1-800-277-9914)
4) Tax man will come and look for you , You will call the CRA and declare the death then write a letter to the Revenue Agency pledging that as an Executor you will be PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE for the tax. You will once again include a notarized copy of the will as well as the death certificate. (1-800-959-8281)
YOU WILL SOON LEARN THAT EVERYTHING YOU DO WILL REQUIRE NOTARIZING!
5) If the deceased had a work insurance or are a Federal Employee with a Sunlife policy call the Sunlife number to alert them if there are any policies to be paid out. The general Sunlife number needs to be called to cancel the dental and medical policies, Spouses need to reapply for their own policies (1-800-757-7427)
6) Don’t forget to call the Pension Center for the Public Service commission if there was a pension held by the deceased (1-800-561-7930) You got it a death certificate and Notarized will!
7) Service Ontario – return the Health and Drug card and make sure you note those numbers because some one will ask later. You need to submit the death certificate only – DO you live in a large metropolis go to a suburb to do your paperwork smaller lines , less bodies. Take extra death certificates with you and will will get a receipt, Keep it close because some dang person is going to ask for it and you gave it away but if you have the numbers then you are in business
8) Service Canada- This is the office you would return the SIN number and your CPP paperwork. Make sure that it is well filled out before you get to the office and they will check it twice
9) Ok this is somewhere you are going to become familiar. GO to the bank that the person you are you are executor for used most unless of course you don’t live in the same area. Open an estate account for the deceased and your profile will be referenced with that account. Go to every bank that you loved one may have done business, close account and consolidate those you find to the one estate account. Got stocks and shares to deal with- write a letter of direction , liquidate them into a cash estate account PRONTO
10) Check any online trading accounts and with any financial advisors , convert shares to cash, Hope to god the deceased may have cashed in their RIFF and RRSP if not just remember TAX>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> There goes the inheritance
11) If you think you missed something at a later date got to lostcash.ca Bank of Canada scoops up dormant accounts and holds them until claimed. So you find an account there and guess what? You need to prove that the decease lived where they did when they had that account, so you look and find that the account was in 1929 and they lived 5 states away? Looks for anything with an old address, a bill, will or any kind of documentation ...............
12) Credit Card, cancel all and remember when you do if there was a supplement card it too will be cancelled- any balance on these can be paid by the estate. You may hear from the surviving spouse Pretty Darn Quick when you eliminated their mode of spending
13) Estate account was designed to help pay funeral cost , Well what they don’t tell you or at least not at the bank I went to you can’t access it YET< you can set it up and you can bring the bills into the branch and they will make a cheque payable to those that are requiring payment You can’t get your hot little hands on the loot- so dig deep and remember to smile when you realize that job you came with is a costly one and hope to you know what that Uncle Fred left enough to pay the bills!
14) Next is probate This is one step you need a lawyer for, It is not a hard job so you don’t need to pay the worlds best, a junior lawyer will do. The deceased total
worth ( not joint accounts) are taxes in a grab = to 1.5% + lawyer fees. I did not have to deal with realestate but apparently that is a lot more involved. Probates 6-8 weeks to process, once granted then you can open the coffers and pay the bills,inheritance etc
15) Registered funds, need to be informed of the deceased death and once probate has passed you can have the fund decommissioned and moved into a cash account, the same with shares sell the and convert to cash. If you want to sell shares before the probate period you can do so, but you need to have ANOTHER NOTARIZED FORM
16) TAX TIME - you obviously are still here and did not run fast enough. The year of death would be a regular tax. Once that is done then the estate or final tax is performed called a tax T3. Now lets just say that your Uncle was a popper or pooper- well did you know that the dead can't pay tax but you can! If the estate accrues more than $500 between the taxes of the previous year and when you close the account then a tax would be payable. And if greater than $500 then payable by the heirs who inherited the loot.. Update- I had submitted my final tax and T3 at the same time, save yourself a few dollars and make sure you have the right forms and if you have an agency doing it for you you can do it all at the same time, What you need for the T3 is any information that the deceased had dividends or any funds that entered the banking world or your hot little hands after the date of death..You will be taxed for it at the same rate as the final tax. Just to make sure you will receive two tax statement from two different departments.One that is from the general tax submission another from the estate dept which is a T3 tax evaluation . So if you paid your final tax wait until you get your T3info back. Now the T3 will come with another set of " account numbers" do yourself a favor cross reference the SIN and this tax number. My T3 came awfully late and I submitted my clearance form without the T3 account number BUT I called and all is well because what they do not tell you is that in reality it is all cross referenced on their end!!
Executors you have your work cut out for you , any expenses you have and only you can be reimbursed by the estate your spouse is not to be refunded. SO whether you leave him/her on the tarmac is your problem, Keep great records because you know you are going to be audited. Lets face it you have an important job,no pay and they will haunt you for sure. Inform all beneficiaries of the accounting, and what they are entitled to as well as how the books look on your end. Once the beneficiaries are paid out you will want a release from them that they have been paid their inheritance.
NOW what I didn’t know……… SO you went to the lawyer and you have this latest will, you know it is the right will and you are assured. READ IT and STUDY IT. If you are not comfortable with anything ask your lawyer. Make sure the beneficiaries that are listed on the current will match what you may be signing over. You know the old adage if it is stinks it is rotten. Take your job seriously and ask if you are in doubt.
Paying a lawyer for a few hours is the smart thing to do…. Remember that you are responsible for anything that may come out of a poorly executed will, BEAWARE that Uncle Sam has your number and if you have dealt out the funds with out a sufficient hold back for taxes then guess who is paying Peter or wearing a nice stripped outfit!
NOW if you think that funeral is pre paid- well maybe what they don't tell you is OOPS they did not include- flowers, music, eats and treats, Burial costs( that is to open the grave if you already own a plot), dvd's. Oh don't forget the obit with your loved ones pic - think again at the cost $200 difference between the pic and no pic, tax on prepaid service and embalming cost. And did you want any lettering on that tombstone? Get out your engraving pen $250 for four +++ numbers. And if your Uncle was not so thoughtful to die in summer just add another few hundred for opening the grave and weekends are extras and no Monday Senior Days
SO do yourself a favor if you plan on dying, Give your executor advance notice $20K to do you up right, make sure absolutely everything is in joint names even if it is with Uncle Joe . Make sure that there absolutely no traces of the old will and update the beneficiaries so all is clear
The tax man taketh!
Well isn't this interesting, if you are preparing for a final tax hold on... First you will need the probated will, death certificate. Then obvious T 4, T5 and last years tax info , any taxes amounts paid out through the year if quarterly , NOW comes the interesting part, you need all of those capital gains and losses. Did you notice by now the person you are taking care of is not the bookkeeper you are> Let's hope they are better than you. You just can't take in thousands of sheets of paper do yourself a favor and make a spread sheet
1) for each bank and any stocks with the date of purchase, amount of each stock, sale of the stock and commission paid on the stock
2) Donations- list each one and the amount
3) Medical bills not covered by another party- remember to phone and verify or find receipts that tell you that the costs were not covered- make a list of provider, date and amount
5) Is the person able to qualify for a disability tax?If so find that important document
6) Take the previous years tax because they will ask you for it
Submit this tax paperwork to CRA and wait to pay in a few weeks you will receive notice that you should pay them X number of dollars and in the meantime if you find some paperwork that arrives late you can submit that too. So this is your final tax and you have 6 months to file it after death and if you go beyond that remember you will owe a penalty and an interest fee.
Lets just suppose you have completed your final tax lickety split then 1) close the estate account and dispense funds asap and proceed to file a T3 which is a tax on the estate which the beneficiaries must pay. Lastly it is time to file with the CRA to release you from any tax responsibility it is called a clearance tax.
Refer to the paragraphs above looking for " taxtime" and you will see more details.
And finally you may be set to pay out inheritance to others. Well of course I would find glitches with that. There is no problem with the receiving banks but I have found that the bank that holds the estate may not be all that cooperative. Here I am out of town for an extended stay I go to the bank that holds the estate account ( a branch that is not the branch I deal with ) . So I want to transfer money from that account into a beneficiaries account, Do you think that this is complicated? Money Laundering comes to mind well the bank is not so generous about helping one to distribute the funds even though you have all the paperwork, the bank card, will, probated will and death certificate and you have the bank card and all privileges on the account. This is a work in progress and I will delay in reporting back until I get it all sorted out so that I can direct you. Stay tuned
I found this very imformative article right after I have performed most of my duties. I thought I would pass it on to you in case there is more info that suits you
Last but not least.. I am in my final stages and applied for clearance. What an eyeopener- to the tune of 150 pages and I am not sure if it is complete. First you need the info from the beneficiaries, their name, sin current address. All bank documents and expenditure spread sheet of costs associated with the estate. Was the deceased a day trader?Guess what you need every slip of that buy and sell paperwork, followed by every bank statement associated with the deceased at his time of departure and for the last year,. You need to be able to show the track record of funds. Do yourself a favor do your homework and list every stock and when it was bought and where it went, I did and I found a $5000 loss that was not claimed when a stock went belly up, Not only that the investment group did not show it as a loss in their records. Now is the time to save on taxes! Lastly you need to have a business plan on how you are going to pay the beneficiaries, a plan for holdback just in case there are some taxes owning that are not evident to you. Your lawyer would have sent your beneficiaries an agreement to sign that they have received funds, that they will be expected to give up those funds if the taxes are more than your holdback. On my calculations I saved 30% back for the taxes and hope for the best. Then again it all depends if you are aware and hopefully correct that the deceased paid their taxes up to date.