EP 018 - Professional Executor Michelle Follows


Michelle Follows is a Professional Executor, a Professional Trustee, and a Certified Public Accountant. She is the Founder of Executor Duties on Demand.com, and she studied at the University of Toronto.

Michelle is also a Board Member at Halton Peel CPA District Association as well as the Board Treasurer at the Sanctuary Church of Oakville. She has skilled expertise in accounting and gives advice on cost cutting and tax savings strategies among other services.

I think you will enjoy this lively and resource-packed discussion. Michelle talks to us about her education, her work, administration of trusts, Power of Attorney Services, statutory compliance, common law rules, and execution.

You’ll Learn:
• [02:00] – Michelle starts our conversation by telling us about her background, family, how she became a professional executor, life, death, and the consequences of dying without a will.

• [08:00] – She takes us through some of her responsibilities as an executor and explains to us about probate and the importance of having a properly executed will.

• [10:57] – Michelle gives us advice on how to prepare an estate, how to interact/deal with the different companies in executing an estate, full communication, filling checklists, next of kin to contact, passwords protection and having a common understanding.

• [26:55] – She advises us on the different knowledge areas that we need to know. Especially on tax matters, real estate, legal issues and family mediation. All the videos from different professionals can be found at her website provided in the links below.

• [28:58] – Michelle informs us that common law rules are different for taxation and estate purposes. She goes ahead to differentiate between the two. This relates to cohabitation, spouses, children and marriage. Different rules apply dependent on the situations.

• [39:00] – She sums up our discussion by emphasizing that we should listen to the videos at her website in order to acquire more knowledge on the different areas.

Quotes by the Guest:

• [08:08] – “Probate is a confirmation to third parties that we are dealing with the executor and that we are dealing with the final will!”

• [14:46] – “Communication is really the key for me, communicate upfront and the beneficiaries will be clear about the will and will be able to follow it!”

• [26:37] – “Are you leaving a Legacy or a Landmine.”

• [28:58] – “The rules for common law are different for tax purposes than they are for estate purposes!”