A new designation is available to members of a number of professions to which executors often turn for guidance in fulfilling their duties.Those who hold the Certified Executor Advisor certification have successfully completed an on-line study program that covers a wide-range of topics from the important decisions following a testator’s death, to financial and property considerations, and estate administration.
Executors today often need help in carrying out their duties, noted Mark O’Farrell, Brampton, Ont.-based president of the Canadian Institute of Certified Executor Advisors, which confers the CEA designation. “Their role has become increasingly complex due to changing family dynamics with second and third marriages,” he said, “increased attention from armchair executors scrutinizing what they are doing, and the complexity of assets and liabilities in many estates.”
The 17 professions whose members the CICEA hopes to attract are:
- Appraisers (real estate, art, jewelry, automobiles, etc.)
- Bankruptcy trustees
- Corporate executors
- Credit unions
- Financial advisors
- Funeral directors
- Life insurance brokers
- Mental health counsellors
- Mortgage lenders
- Planned giving officers
- Property and casualty insurance brokers
- Real estate agents. >
O’Farrell noted that the CEA curriculum provides a practical knowledge of what executors may need to know from all these disciplines. “And we hope to build a network of professionals that CEAs can call upon for further assistance.”
The designation is intended to provide added value for clients. “I don’t suggest CEAs charge specifically for their CEA services,” O’Farrell said. “But the certification will undoubtedly draw more clients and expand their services to existing clients. They’ll also become more referable.”
Financial advisors, he added, can add the CEA to differentiate themselves “as those working with executors and testators, adding considerable value while retaining and building assets, expending their client base and identifying insurance opportunities in and outside their practices.”
CEAs are regulated by the CICEA, which provides a professional code of conduct, contact for the public to register complaints, a review process and a disciplinary committee.
The CEA course fee is $1,295 plus HST. Successful completion of the program is accredited for 30 hours of continuing education by Advocis and the Financial Planning Standards Council. To register, go to cicea.ca/register.