Should you name an adult child as executor?

When deciding on an executor, or liquidator in Quebec, it’s quite common to name an adult child to administer the estate. But if you have more than one child, it’s a decision to make with caution. Here’s a look at the pros and cons of going this route when siblings are involved.

You can name two or more children as co-executors. Potentially, this can be ideal – you treat your children as equals, and they share the workload. But if the children live in different cities, they’ll face challenges to meet together at the lawyer’s and accountant’s office and the bank – and documents must be signed by all co-executors. Also, any disagreement on administration issues will cause frustration and delays.

Naming one of the children as executor simplifies matters. It’s easy to arrange meetings with the lawyer and accountant, and decisions can be made quickly.

The other child, or children, may even be relieved that someone else is doing the work. However, if the other children take exception with the executor’s judgement calls, the efficiency won’t be worth the discord among siblings.

Solutions to consider

You can discuss the executor decision with your children, either together or separately, to get a sense of how smoothly you envision the process would go – and to determine whether you’d name one executor or co-executors. If you have second thoughts about naming a child as executor, you might consider choosing your spouse, another family member, a family friend, your lawyer or other professional, or a trust company.

Digital property belongs in your will

“And to my beloved daughter, I give the leather-bound album of cherished family photographs.”

Sure, that sounds right for the old days. Today the pics might be on your laptop. We’ve got all sorts of valuable items stored electronically, and it’s time we started treating them accordingly.

Vacation property solutions for a taxing problem

The 2017 Royal LePage Canadian Recreational Housing Report showed healthy year-over-year price increases in many vacation property markets across Canada. The highest average price was $816,700 in Alberta, but even the national average was more than $400,000.

Over time, the price increases can be staggering. Waterfront cottages on the Bruce Peninsula in Ontario that sold for an average of $250,000 in 2005 cost almost $465,000 in 2017.1

To save tax, get down to business

All of the speculation and discussion has turned into reality — the federal government is beginning to clamp down on tax-reduction opportunities for small businesses. With the new restrictions, it becomes even more important to take advantage of the tax breaks that remain. Here are three strategies to consider.

Should you and your spouse retire at the same time?

For many couples, retiring together just makes sense, plain and simple. You share the pleasure of starting this new chapter of your life together, and you enjoy more time together in retirement. A synchronized retirement can be idyllic.

But the picture becomes less rosy if one spouse makes a sacrifice to line up the retirement dates. Say one spouse has recently become a mentor in the workplace as the planned retirement date nears, and feels reluctant to retire just now. Or, to synchronize retirement dates, an older spouse must retire later than he or she would like, with fewer retirement years of being fit and energetic. It’s important to be sure retiring together works for both partners.

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