Using EstateExec

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EstateExec makes the estate settlement process easier and simpler. To use EstateExec, enter www.EstateExec.com/ca in the address bar of your Internet browser (e.g., Chrome, Explorer, Safari, etc.).

Quick Orientation

Estate: If you haven't already created an estate, you can do so using the Estates | New menu. If you already have an estate, login if necessary and then use the Estate | Open menu to open your desired estate.

Tabs: Your EstateExec estate is organized into several tabs: Docs, Assets, Cashflow, Heirs, etc. Each tab explains its purpose in a sentence at the top of the tab, and the first few words are shown in blue and link to the Help page for that tab.

Docs: The Docs tab is a little different, and contains a hierarchy of topics on the left, organized into several top-level sections, with the two most important being the Guide (explains how to serve as an executor) and the EstateExec Reference (explains how to use EstateExec).

Getting Started

The best way to begin using EstateExec depends on your role:

Estate Owner

If you are using EstateExec to make things easier for the eventual executor of your own estate... (see more ↧)

  1. Personal Info: Start by filling out some basic information about yourself (e.g., birth date, legal address, etc.). You may wish to upload a copy of your will on this tab for convenience, but keep in mind that your executor will also need access to an original signed version.
  2. Contacts: Enter information about important contacts for your executor (e.g., relatives, lawyer, accountant, etc.). In particular, be sure to populate the Heirs Tab.
  3. Key Assets: List key assets (but don't bother to get too detailed since things can change over timeS. If you like, you can estimate what the Value at Death will be, but do NOT edit Value Now (that field is for use during the actual estate administration).
  4. Key Debts: List key debts such as a mortgage and any credit cards (but don't bother to get too detailed since things can change over time). If you like, you can estimate what the Owed at Death amount will be, but do NOT edit Owed Now (that field is for use during the actual estate administration).
  5. File Attachments: You can attach files (documents, photos, whatever) to pretty much anything within EstateExec (e.g., assets, contacts, the overall estate itself, ...). Used judiciously, these attachments can be very helpful, but there's no need to upload photos of everything!
  6. Choose Executor: If you haven't already chosen an executor, take a quick look at factors to consider when choosing an executor (you may also want to read more about what the executor role entails)
  7. Coordinate with Executor: Once someone has agreed to be your executor, take a look at our In Advance instructions for the executor to see what else you might want to do. You may also wish to use the Estate | Share menu to give the person access to your EstateExec estate now, or you may wish to arrange for the person to get a copy of your login information in the case of your death.
  8. And Then: That's pretty much it. EstateExec exists to make your estate settlement easier, and that doesn't mean we want you to have to do a lot of work in advance, either. When the time comes, your executor will be able to use EstateExec to follow step-by-step instructions to manage and settle your estate.

Executor for Someone Who has Passed Away

If you are serving as the executor for someone who has passed away, or are in the processing of becoming such an executor, we recommend... (see more ↧)

  1. Your Role: Start by learning about the executor role (duties, effort involved, etc.);  you may also want to learn more about the estate settlement process in general.
  2. Decedent Info: Fill out some basic information about the departed estate owner (e.g., date of death, legal address, etc.)
  3. Save All: Click the Save All button in the top right to save your work. If you have Autosave turned on, it will periodically save your work even if you don't explicitly do so. The Save All button is only active if you have unsaved changes. See Save or Cancel Edits for more information.
  4. Tasks: The Tasks list will walk you through the steps you need to settle the estate. Click on each task in turn, decide whether it is applicable for the estate, and if so begin working on the task. Some tasks will be relatively easy and quick, while others may take months. You do not need to finish one task to start the next, but if you do at least read them in order you will find things relatively straightforward.
  5. And Then: While we could list further things to do, that's really the purpose of the Tasks list... just start going through them!  If you really want other things to do, try listing a few assets, and skimming through more of the EstateExec Reference manual to learn more of its capabilities (including bank transaction download, accounting reports, and more). The Using Tables topic is especially helpful, as EstateExec tables can do quite a bit you might not realize otherwise.

Future Executor for Someone Still Living

If you will be the executor for someone who is still living, we recommend... (see more ↧)

  1. Your Role: Start by learning about the executor role, and key steps you can take in advance to make the eventual estate settlement easier.
  2. Decedent Info: Fill out some basic information about the estate owner (e.g., birth date, legal address, etc.)
  3. Contacts: Enter information about important contacts for the estate (asset locations, estate owner's accountant, etc.). Be sure to populate the Heirs Tab as well.
  4. Key Assets: List key assets (but don't bother to get too detailed since things can change over timeS. If you like, you can estimate what the Value at Death will be, but do NOT edit Value Now (that field is for use during the actual estate administration).
  5. Key Debts: List key debts such as a mortgage and any credit cards (but don't bother to get too detailed since things can change over time). If you like, you can estimate what the Owed at Death amount will be, but do NOT edit Owed Now (that field is for use during the actual estate administration).
  6. File Attachments: You can attach files (documents, photos, whatever) to pretty much anything within EstateExec (e.g., assets, contacts, the overall estate itself, ...). Used judiciously, these attachments can be very helpful, but there's no need to upload photos of everything!
  7. Tasks: The Tasks list will walk you through the steps you need to settle the estate. You might want to take a look at a few tasks just to get a feel for things... you'll find that some EstateExec tasks describe fairly general yet important steps, while others include links to required forms, perform financial calculations, provide optional discounts on related third-party services, and give additional detailed assistance. When the time comes, just work your way through the list.
  8. And Then: That's pretty much it. EstateExec exists to make your estate settlement easier, and that doesn't mean we want you to have to do a lot of work in advance, either. When the time comes, your executor will be able to use EstateExec to follow step-by-step instructions to manage and settle your estate.

Trust Administrator

If you are using EstateExec to administer a trust... (see more ↧)

  1. Set Trustee Role: If you did not already set your role to "Managing a Trust", use the Help | Quick Start Wizard menu, make sure the date of death is blank (irrelevant for a trust), and on the next screen select your desired role.
  2. List Assets: Start by listing trust assets on the Assets Tab (see Enter Asset for details).
  3. File Attachments: You can attach files (documents, photos, whatever) to pretty much anything within EstateExec (e.g., assets, contacts, transactions, ...). Used judiciously, these attachments can be very helpful, but there's no need to upload photos of everything!
  4. List Beneficiaries: List the beneficiaries of the trust on the Heirs Tab (see Define Heirs for details).
    To keep things simple, EstateExec uses a core set of terms to cover generally equivalent items (e.g. using "heir" to include "devisee" and "beneficiary", or "executor" to include "personal representative" and "trustee"), and will normally mention when there are important differences.
  5. Track Transactions: As the trust generates income, incurs expenses, or you make asset changes, record these on the Cashflow Tab (see Manage Estate Transactions).
  6. Tasks: You may want to look at the Tasks Tab. Tasks are generally estate-centric, but there are some that are specific to trusts, and some that apply to both estates and trusts.
  7. Generate Accounting Reports: You can use the View | Reports to generate desired reports such as Inventory as of a given time, or Accounting for a given time period (see Print_Reports).

General Usage

You may also want to take a quick look at:

Guided Start

Even though the software is very user-friendly, sometimes it's nice to have someone personally give you a quick tour, help you understand you how to use EstateExec for your estate, and even do some of the data entry to get you started. See Guided Start for information on this optional service.

In Summary

We hope you will find EstateExec useful and helpful, as many others have before you: EstateExec was named Best Executor Software in North America at the Worldwide Finance Awards, was named Web Application of the Year at the Globee Business Excellence Awards, won the Edison Award for Innovation, and has a 4.9 star rating on TrustPilot reviews. Of course, please keep in mind that EstateExec is a productivity aid, and is not intended to provide legal or tax advice, nor to provide exhaustive coverage for all possible situations.

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