How to settle a succession
As the liquidator, after partitioning the family patrimony and liquidating the matrimonial or civil union regime, you must then settle the succession.
You must do this in accordance with:
- the testator’s wishes, if there is a will;
- the rules of legal succession, if no will exists;
- the rules agreed upon by all the heirs, where the succession is clearly solvent.
To settle the succession, you must:
- make an inventory of the deceased’s property;
- pay the deceased’s debts;
- complete the deceased’s income tax returns;
- pay any taxes owed by the deceased;
- obtain a certificate from Revenu Québec authorizing you to distribute the property of the succession;
- divide and distribute the property.
For further information on how to produce the income tax returns of a deceased person, see the websites of Revenu Québec and the Canada Revenue Agency.
Liquidating a succession without following the rules of the Civil Code of Québec
In some cases you may settle a succession without following these steps. For example, you may do this if the heirs ask you not to make an inventory of the deceased’s property because they believe the succession is solvent.
You can only agree to this if all the heirs are in agreement.
In such a case the heirs are liable for all the succession’s debts, including those they did not know existed.
Please consult a legal advisor for further information on the consequences of not applying the rules set out in the Civil Code of Québec.