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The role of an executor and liquidator in a last will and testament

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Estate law, Notarial services

Marc has been named executor or “liquidator” in the will of his deceased father and has asked: what is his role and what are his obligations as liquidator?

The Civil Code of Quebec (C.C.Q.) provides that a testator may designate one or several liquidators in his will.

I Am Named as Liquidator; Now What?

The first role of the liquidator is to verify and to request a will search from the Quebec Bar Association and from Quebec’s professional association of Notaries (the “Chambre des Notaires”) in order to confirm the last will.

The liquidator is also bound to make an inventory of the estate. Articles 794 C.C.Q. indicates that the liquidator is bound to make an inventory in the manner prescribed in the law.

Once the inventory has been completed, the liquidator ensures that each of the heirs receives a copy, and the liquidator is also required to publish the closure of inventory in Quebec’s registry of personal and real moveable rights (R.D.P.R.M.)

Liquidating a Succession: How and When

The closure of inventory indicates that an inventory has been prepared, identifies the name of the deceased person and indicates the place where the inventory may be consulted by interested persons.

The notice of closure of inventory must also be published in a newspaper circulating in the locality where the deceased had his last known address.

Following the publication of the closure of inventory, the liquidator will now proceed to the liquidation of the succession:

1. Firstly, the liquidator must identify the heirs and the legatees in order to inform them of their rights in virtue of the will.

2. Secondly, the liquidator may also take the necessary steps to recover and enforce any debts owed to the deceased, and the liquidator must also pay the debts of the deceased;

3. Thirdly, the liquidator must also proceed to preparing the Federal and Provincial income tax returns of the deceased and, following the reception of the Notices of Assessments, he must sign and fill out the necessary forms so as to obtain the necessary discharge papers (“Clearance Certificates”) from the fiscal authorities, indicating that there is no outstanding debts owed to either the Quebec Revenue Agency or the Canadian Revenue Agency;

Following the issuance and receipt of the said clearance certificates, the liquidator can proceed to remit to the heirs and to the particular legatees their bequests, in accordance with the will.

If the heirs of the succession feel that the liquidator is not fulfilling his role, they may apply to the Court in order to have the liquidator replaced.

Gianina Fuschini, Attorney-at-law
Alepin Gauthier Avocats Inc.

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