One day, I was in my west Toronto law office. I got a call from a new client, John, a frustrated executor. John’s previous lawyer had told him to distribute all of the estate. John only held enough money to pay his executor’s compensation. To get his executor’s fees, John needed one last beneficiary’s approval. John said this beneficiary was giving him ‘a hard time.’
The beneficiary was furious after waiting far too long for her money. “Oh,” she said, “John’s bookkeeping added up alright.” But she complained about John’s delays and unnecessary expenses. She said John owed her for all his mistakes. She did not care if John got paid and was taking John to court. She demanded John personally pay her $50,000, plus her legal costs.
John believed he had done nothing wrong, but now he was losing sleep. In four years, John had not taken a dime for his executor services. He could not wind up or close the estate.
I told John he was a victim of Executor’s Disease™. It hits executors when they have to pay to get out of trouble. Most executors do not understand their duties handling an estate. I explained what John should have done to protect himself. I then resolved John's beneficiary issues and she signed a final release. Yes, John finally got paid.
After seeing many other executors in trouble, I trademarked the term Executor’s Disease™. I wanted to help executors and wrote an easy probate guide, Executor Kung Fu. I ran seminars to teach executors and founded ExecutorSchool.com to explain executor duties.
About Edward Olkovich
Edward Olkovich is a Toronto Lawyer, and an Ontario certified specialist in Estates and Trusts Law.
He is also the author of various books, home-study guides and courses:
- Executor Kung Fu: Master Any Estate in Three Easy Steps
- Executor Beware: Your Complete System to Probate, Tackle and Tame Any Estate
- Breakthrough Estate Planning: Finding All the Answers You’ll Ever Need
- Choosing Executors: Your Formula for Success
- Estate to the Heart: How to Plan Wills and Estates for your Loved Ones
- Estate Planning in Six Simple Steps
- The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Estate Planning in Six Simple Steps for Canadians
- The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Wills and Estates for Canadians