Good morning. My name is ***** ***** I look forward to helping you. First, yes, the executor can also be a beneficiary. In fact, it's quite normal for that to be the case. And, yes, you do need to have a will (or a living trust
which will help you avoid probate
). If you don't do a will (and you don't need one will for USA and one for Canada; only one will is required to set forth your wishes as to the disposition of your assets upon your death), then the government has one for you through its intestate
succession laws for your probate assets
which may or may not be the same as your wishes. It's important to realize that certain assets are not covered by either a will or a living trust. These include the following: i) joint brokerage and bank accounts which vest automatically in the surviving owner upon the death of one owner; ii) real property held as joint tenants or tenants by the entirety, which also vest automatically in the surviving owner upon the death of one owner; and iii) assets with designated beneficiaries other than the estate
such as life insurance and retirement accounts. Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which fully addresses your question. If you have any follow up questions, please ask! If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service as OK, Good or Excellent (hopefully Good or Excellent). Otherwise, I receive no credit for assisting you today. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!