Succession and will, fee and cost. Family relationships or strong friendships are sometimes struck by the death of a loved one, and you might find yourself in the position of the liquidator of succession for one of your loved ones or you might have to do a testamentary research, participate in a succession settlement and so on. In such cases, you’ll have to be prepared in order to understand what are your rights and obligations, so you can maintain a clear mind in those troubled moments. Mtre Leopold Lincà notary in Montreal can help you make informed decisions. In the following, you will learn the stages of a succession settlement.
First of all, you must be aware of the fact that there are two types of succession, depending on the existence or on the lack of a will. The testamentary succession is settled according to the wishes of the deceased and it’s registered in a will, whereas the legal succession is liquidated according to the rules of the Civil Code if the will is missing.
The stages of a succession settlement include the following:
- Obtaining a death certificate
This document (or a copy of a death certificate) is issued by the Director of the Civil Status of Quebec and it’s used by the liquidator in the succession process with the various organizations which the liquidator will have to deal with.
- Searching for a will
Normally, if you knew well the deceased person, you should know if he or she had written a will and you’ll have to search for it through the deceased’s personal belongings and at his/her notary. Your research must be completed at the Registers of Testamentary Dispositions of the Chamber of Notaries of Quebec and at the Registers of Wills and Mandates of the Barreau of Quebec. In case it exists, this document (which if it isn’t notarized, will have to be verified by the competent authorities) will serve as a guide for the distribution of the deceased’s goods and assets.
- Verification of the marriage contract, if applicable
If the deceased was married and had a marriage contract, it’s the heirs’ responsibility to verify if there is any particular information in the marriage contract regarding the assets of the spouses, in case of one’s death.
- The appointment of the liquidator
The liquidator or the executor of a succession is required to register a notice of designation in the R.D.P.R.M. and a notice to the Land Register, if there is an immovable in the succession.
- The opening of an estate account
The liquidator will present to the financial institutions which manage the deceased’s money the death certificate and a copy of the deceased’s will. The liquidator will also have to close the deceased’s accounts. Opening of an estate account is necessary for subsequent transactions.
- Production of inventory and publication of notices
In front of a notary and two witnesses, the liquidator will have to make an inventory of the deceased’s assets (buildings, cars, cash, funds, etc.) and of the deceased’s debts (loans, bills, mortgage, etc.). With the help of the notary, there will be analyzed the stipulations of the will and the possible obligations towards the spouse and the children. The liquidator will have to register a notice of closure of inventory at the R.D.P.R.M. and to publish a notice in a newspaper which is distributed in the area of the deceased person.
- Income tax returns and paying taxes
An essential step before the distribution of the deceased’s assets to the heirs is producing the income tax returns for the year of death and paying taxes for the previous years – this is a tax liability which will help you avoid future hardships. Therefore the liquidator has the necessary tax certificates for the following stages.
- Payment of the deceased’s debts
These include the deceased’s debts (bills, loans, etc.) and funeral debts. The liquidator can pay these debts by using the deceased’s money or, if necessary, proceed with the sale of the assets in which case, consulting a notary is the best choice.
- The liquidation of the family patrimony and the division of all assets
After paying the deceased’s debts and distributing the testamentary bequests, the liquidator will have to present a report of liquidation to the heirs. This document is supposed to give the heirs all the necessary details on what remains in the succession after the payment of the debts. The liquidator must also attach to the document a proposal for the division of assets, and if the proposal is accepted, he must continue with the distribution of the assets among the heirs.
- Publication of notices required by the law
After the distribution of the assets, in order to close the liquidation process, the liquidator is required to publish a notice of closure of the account at the R.D.P.R.M.
Although the stages of the succession process might seem pretty simple, in reality, the existence of a will, of a marriage contract or the disputes which might take place between the heirs may make the succession process quite a difficult one. That’s why you have to rely on a notary.
Mtre. Lincà, notary in Montreal, will be able to advise you and to accompany you throughout this trial, so that all the necessary proceedings will be conducted according to the law and in a total accordance with your expectations and also with the deceased’s ones.
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