The Administration of Estates Act is being replaced on June 1, 2015 in Alberta , with the new Estate Administration Act (EAA). The new Act and related rules will apply to existing administrations, applications or grants. Among the guiding principles in the reform of these laws is the idea that the law should be clear in helping Personal Representatives (PRs) carry out the testamentary wishes of the deceased, and that the law should reduce the delay and cost for PRs, beneficiaries and their advisors.
Here are some of the highlights of the new Act:
Section 5(1) sets out the duties of the PR and requires them to distribute the estate as soon as practicable (replacing the notion of the “executor’s year”).
Section 7 sets out the core tasks of the PR:
1) Identify assets and liabilities
2) Administer and manage estate
3) Satisfy debts and obligations
4) Distribute and account for the administration
The Schedule to the Act lists the types of tasks that may be included in administering the estate. A PR will be required to create and maintain records, and communicate with beneficiaries.
Even a PR named in a will where an application for a grant is not required, will nevertheless be required to provide notice to the following:
3) Family member
4) Public Trustee (if there is a minor, represented adult or missing person)
Section 8 allows for the removal of a PR failing to perform duties or core tasks.
Section 20 gives the PR broad powers to stand in the shoes of the deceased person and have the same powers as the deceased over the property, subject to the express provisions of the will.
Please contact us at NW Calgary Law if you have any questions about the EAA.