Estate Planning; Settlement Estate in Quebec


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Settling an estate with a notary in Montreal, Quebec. Why do we use a notary to settle an inheritance? How to do?


Dealing with a notary in the settlement of your estate can save you many pitfalls. Indeed, the legal framework that governs it can seem quite complex to ordinary people. Discussing with a notary allows you to clarify and clearly define your inheritance objectives. Who will be your heirs? Who  will beresponsible for liquidating your estate? If you have young children, in the event of premature death, who will take care of them? If you have a business, what will happen to it? And your remains? Your organs? Your funeral arrangements? These are important, sometimes complex issues, and the decisions you make will have serious consequences for your loved ones after your death, and it is understood that it will be too late to remedy the situation.

Unfortunately, Google doesn`t have the answers to everything and advice from an expert will be invaluable. On the one hand, the notary is able to guarantee that the will complies with applicable legislation and can guarantee its authenticity. As he generally knows the laws relating to taxes and taxation, he can also help you plan ahead and ensure that your heirs benefit as much as possible from the inheritance. It is no secret that, sometimes, the liquidation of an estate leads to tensions and conflicts. We cannot change human nature, but the notary can make your will very difficult to contest in the event of confusion, and above all, easy to find. In addition, haven’t we all heard of a loved one or acquaintance whose will is non-existent or untraceable and the efforts that sometimes have to be made? To find out how, do not hesitate to contact us at 438-383-3116!

What are the steps to follow for the inheritance settlement?


The steps to settle an estate are as follows:

1) The first thing to do is to make sure you have on hand all the necessary documents relating to your finances, your marital status and your life insurance policies, if applicable.
2) You must then prepare an asset assessment, which allows you to have an overview of the assets to bedistributed after your death.
3) The third step is your goals. For many people, it is important that their heirs receive what is due to them quickly, that they do not have to pay debts or simply to avoid as much as possible disagreements, tensions, or even conflicts between members of their family, after their death.
4) Next, you must begin drafting your will itself, which establishes in black and white the names of your heirs and your liquidator (formerly known as executor). The will also allow, if necessary, to make arrangements for the custody of your children.
5) You must then take measures to minimize the taxes payable following your death.
6) After which, you can think about life insurance, which allows your heirs to receive tax-free income.
7) Finally, you need to prepare your funeral arrangements, in order to avoid significant costs for your loved ones or simply express your last wishes.

Even if this is not one of the steps to follow for the settlement of an inheritance, in the event of incapacity, in order to prevent any complications at the end of your life, you can prepare a protection mandate, and in the same order idea, provide advance medical directives.


How to settle an inheritance in Quebec?


In Quebec, in the absence of a will, the settlement of the estate is carried out in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Code of Quebec. There are still some cases that exceptional may apply, if all the heirs agree. To find out more, you can speak to your notary.


Death without a will — Who are the Legal Heirs?


The Civil Code of Quebec provides provisions in the event of death without a will. One of these provisions is the degree of proximity, which makes it possible to determine which family members are closest to the deceased person. This provision defines three lines of succession, namely the direct line (children and grandchildren), the privileged collateral line (brothers and sisters and their children) and the ordinary collateral line (remainder of descendants). Thus, those entitled to inheritance are the spouse (married or civilly united) or people related by blood or adoption. Common law spouses and in-laws, according to the current state of law, are excluded. All children are eligible. These provisions also provide a legal framework for the appointment of an estate liquidator. This may be a person entitled to the inheritance, or any other person who accepts his appointment as liquidator. For further details on the distribution of the estate, you can consult the Civil Code of Quebec (CHAPTER IV – ORDER OF DEVOLUTION OF SUCCESSIONS).


Death with a will — who are the Heirs?


In the case of a death with a will, it is the last wishes of the deceased person that must be respected. It is important to note that, unless it is a notarized will, which is de facto considered authentic, the liquidator must carry out a verification of the authenticity of the will.


Legal heirs (with or without a will). How does succession/inheritance happen after death?


This stage of the inheritance process is called liquidation. Basically, this is the distribution of the property of the deceased person, according to their wishes if there is a will or under the provisions of the Civil Code of Quebec in their absence. Liquidation consists of a series of 11 steps (or 10 if it is a notarized will):

1) The first step is to obtain proof of death. The latter must be requested from the Director of Civil Status.

2) Next, you need to find the latest version of the deceased person`s will.

3) If the will is not notarized, it must be verified for authenticity.

4) Next, it is necessary to formalize the role of liquidator of the person designated for this purpose. This step is carried out with the Register of Real and Personal Movable Rights (RDPRM). If the deceased person owned land properties, the same step must also be carried out with the Land Registry.

5) Once the previous step is completed, you must communicate with the heirs and inform them of the situation.

6) The bank accounts of the deceased person are frozen upon their death. In order to proceed with the liquidation, you must close the frozen accounts and create an account in the name of the estate.

7) Then, you must make an inventory of the property and debts of the deceased person and publish a notice in a local newspaper.

8) The next is the production of tax reports for the deceased and the estate. Then, you must obtain the Discharge Certificate from the federal government and the Certificate authorizing the distribution of property from the Government of Quebec.

9) We must now pay the debts of the deceased person.

10) The liquidator must then, after producing a final account, which consists of a calculation of who remains to be distributed after payment of the debts, begin the distribution of the assets.

11) The final step consists of the publication of a notice of closure of the liquidator’s account with the Register of Personal and Movable Real Rights. The necessary documents to provide to the notary for the settlement of an inheritance and the liquidation of an estate The necessary documents are numerous. These include documents relating to funeral wishes, legal, administrative and financial documents. For further details, you can consult this list.


Will research


In order to carry out the will search, you must first obtain proof of death. You must then make a request to the Chambre des notaires du Québec and the Barreau du Québec. To do this, you must have certain essential information about the deceased person: their name, date of birth and date of death, marital status, social insurance number and addresses.


The stages of liquidating an estate in Montreal, Quebec.


In Montreal, as elsewhere in Quebec, the stages of liquidation are as follows:

1) obtaining proof of death;

2) obtaining the latest version of the will;

3) verification of its authenticity;

4) formalization of the role of liquidator;

5) communication with heirs;

6) creation of an account in the name of the estate;

7) inventory of property and debts;

8) production of tax reports for the deceased and the estate;

9) payment of debts;

10) Distribution of goods;

11) publication of a notice of closure of the liquidator`s account.


How to liquidate an estate


Liquidating an estate must be done in accordance with the wishes of the deceased person or, in the absence of a will, under the Civil Code of Quebec. This essentially involves taking inventory of the deceased person`s possessions, paying taxes and paying this person’s debts, if applicable. After obtaining the necessary certificate from Revenu Québec, it is possible to distribute the possessions of the deceased person to the heirs.

Acceptance, Renunciation (refusal) of inheritance The heirs are also able to accept or refuse the inheritance. In case of refusal, it is necessary to go to court.

Liquidator of estate without will In the absence of a will, the liquidation of the estate is carried out by all the heirs or by a person designated by mutual agreement between them.

Estate liquidator with will The deceased person in their will usually designates the liquidator of the succession in the will.

Appointment of the liquidator (Declaration of inheritance) In the event that the deceased person leaves no will, the liquidation is carried out by all the heirs or by a person designated by all the heirs. This is then a legal or intestate succession.

Declaration of transmission The declaration of transmission, which must be notarized, serves to formalize the death of a person who owns real estate with the aim of transferring it to the heirs. As you can see, the stages of preparation and liquidation are numerous, complex and nuanced. Therefore, the advice of a notary will be of great help to you. What’s more, notarized documents, such as a will, make the inheritance process easier and faster. In the event of the death of a loved one, it is never easy to carry out this bureaucratic process. Let us help you!