Interactive legal guides > Custom guide to help you through the various steps involved in the estate settlement process

Custom guide to help you through the various steps involved in the estate settlement process

One of your relatives has recently passed away and you do not know how to settle his or her estate. We can help!

Using this tool and by answering a few simple questions, you will learn about the various steps to take in order to properly settle an estate. This custom guide will help you plan every step leading up to the final settlement of the estate.

In addition to the different video briefs at your disposal, you have also access to our Frequently Asked Questions section.

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The deceased:

Was the deceased married at the time of death ?

Do you know who is taking care of the funeral arrangements ?

Was the deceased married at the time of death ?

Are the father, mother, brother and/or sister of the deceased person still alive?

Was the deceased married at the time of death ?

Did the deceased person have descendants (children or grandchildren)?

Do you know how will the heirs of a person who died without a will be determined?

Do you know all the property and debts comprising the patrimony of the deceased ?

Did the person die as a result of particular circumstances such as an accident or a criminal act?

Does a liquidator act on behalf of the estate ?

Were the spouses married under the regime of partnership of acquests ?

Was the deceased receiving benefits from the Old Age Security pension (OAS) ?

Is a liquidator acting on behalf of the estate ? Hidden 165

Did the deceased carry life insurance policies or a pension plan ?

Is one of the heirs a minor or under protective supervision ?

Is it a notarized Will ?

Does the estate have one or more real estate properties to pass on to heirs ?

Does the estate have property to pass on to heirs (bank account, certificate of deposit, etc.) ?

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Are the heirs identified all by their name in the Will ?

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Does the Will contain an unseizability or exemption from seizure clause ?

Was the deceased married at the time of death? 73 hidden

Does an heir wish to renounce the succession/estate in favour of another person ?

Do you need to appoint a liquidator ?

Does an heir wish to renounce the succession/estate ?

Do you know the rights and obligations of an estate liquidator ?

Did the deceased appoint a liquidator ?

Is a liquidator acting on behalf of the estate ?

Was the deceased married at the time of death ?

Do you need to appoint a liquidator ?

The deceased :

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Caution

Before proceeding with the declaration of legal heirs and/or the appointment of a liquidator, make sure first that you do not wish to renounce the succession/estate, since the signing of such a document is an act that can be deemed as an acceptance of the succession on your part. Draw up the estate inventory beforehand.

2 If a person dies as a result of:

  • injuries caused by a hunting accident;
  • injuries caused by a motor vehicle accident;
  • an industrial accident or occupational disease;
  • a criminal act;
  • an act of good citizenship.

Depending on the particular circumstances of the death, the heirs can also file:

  • an application for an indemnity with the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources if the deceased was the victim of a hunting accident;
  • a claim for death benefits with the "Société d'Assurance Automobile du Québec" (SAAQ) if the deceased was the victim of a road accident;
  • a claim or an application for compensation with the "Commission des normes, de l'équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail" (CNESST) if the deceased was the victim of a work accident, an occupational disease or a criminal act or if he died as a result of an act of good citizenship.

Caution

Prior to the appointment of a liquidator, make sure first that you do not wish to renounce the succession/estate, as the appointment of a liquidator is an act that may be deemed as an acceptance of the succession on your part.

Enquiring and searching for property of the deceased

You must perform various searches and audits with persons or companies with which the deceased was likely doing business. Different letters are available to enable you to obtain information that is useful and necessary for the preparation of the estate inventory. It is important to know that all of the deceased's insurable property must remain insured until their delivery to the heirs. The insurance company must also be promptly notified of the death of the insured person as well as of any changes in the risk covered by the issued policy. Should an insurance policy expire before such delivery, the Estate, through the liquidator or the heirs, as the case may be, should do the necessary to renew such policy.

Draft yourself online your requests for information using

Calculation of the partitionable value of the family patrimony upon a death

This calculation is used to determine the partitionable value of the family patrimony of married or civilly united spouses following the death of one of them, which will be useful only in the case where the surviving spouse is not the sole heir or universal legatee of the deceased.

Make yourself online the calculation of the partitionable value of the family patrimony upon a death using using

Appointment of the liquidator

Allows heirs of the deceased to appoint a liquidator who will administer the estate assets.

Make yourself online the appointment of liquidator with

Discharge by heirs to the liquidator

Document confirming that an heir accepts the settlement of the estate and releases the liquidator from his liability as estate administrator and liquidator.

Draft yourself online the discharge by heirs to the liquidator with

Publication of the notice of closure of the liquidator's account in the RDPRM

Publication of a notice regarding the liquidator's rendering of account to confirm the end of the estate administration by the liquidator.

Make yourself online the publication of the notice of closure of the liquidator's account in the RDPRM using

Deceased person who left no descendant, married or civil union spouse, father, mother, brother, or sister behind, but left behind ordinary ascendants or ordinary collaterals.

The Civil Code of Quebec contains provisions governing the distribution of property of a person who died without a will, by first giving priority to the closest relatives of the deceased, then gradually including more distant relatives of the deceased. All these provisions are known as the legal devolution.

Check out the tables allowing to determine the heirs of a person who died without a will.

Rendering of account of the liquidator

Document used to determine the net assets to be distributed to heirs or to determine the liabilities of the estate after payment of creditors and legatees by particular title.

Prepare yourself online the liquidator's rendering of account with

Deceased person whose father, mother, brother and/or sister are still alive.

The Civil Code of Quebec contains provisions governing the distribution of property of a person who died without a will, by first giving priority to the closest relatives of the deceased, then gradually including more distant relatives of the deceased. All these provisions are known as the legal devolution.

Check out the tables allowing to determine the heirs of a person who died without a will.

Minor heir or protected person of full age ?

If a minor or protected person of full age is an heir of property worth more than $ 25,000, theCivil Code of Quebecimpose on the estate liquidator the obligation to declare that fact to the Public Curator and state the value of the property.

Prepare yourself your disclosure statement to the Public Curator online with

Declaration of transmission for an immovable property

Notarized document that must be registered in order to transfer the ownership of an immovable/real estate property to the heirs.

To make a declaration of transmission of an immovable property, visit

Deceased person who did not leave descendants behind, but left behind a spouse to which he/she was married or civilly united.

The Civil Code of Quebec contains provisions governing the distribution of property of a person who died without a will, by first giving priority to the closest relatives of the deceased, then gradually including more distant relatives of the deceased. All these provisions are known as the legal devolution.

Check out the tables allowing to determine the heirs of a person who died without a will.

Minor heir or protected person of full age ?

If a minor or protected person of full age is an heir of property worth more than $ 25,000, theCivil Code of Quebecimpose on the estate liquidator the obligation to report this fact to the Public Curator.

Note: Unless otherwise provided by a testamentary provision, the office of liquidator devolves by operation of law to all the heirs, meaning that if no liquidator was appointed, all the heirs must act together as liquidator of the estate.

Prepare yourself online your disclosure statement to the Public Curator with

Deceased person who left descendants behind (children or grandchildren).

The Civil Code of Quebec contains provisions governing the distribution of property of a person who died without a will, by first giving priority to the closest relatives of the deceased, then gradually including more distant relatives of the deceased. All these provisions are known as the legal devolution

Claim for the amount payable under a life insurance policy or a pension plan

Submit the final documents to the insurance company or the pension/retirement plan administrator to obtain the payment of the amounts claimed by and due to the estate following the preliminary verifications with the insurance comapny or the plan administrator.

Prepare yourself online a claim for the amount payable under a life insurance policy or a pension plan with

Application for the death benefit, surviving spouse's pension and orphan's pension at Retraite Québec

  • The death benefit is a lump-sum payment and is intended to reimburse the paid funeral expenses of the deceased.
  • The surviving spouse's pension is a monthly pension paid to the surviving spouse according to certain criteria.
  • The orphan's pension can be paid to the child of the deceased who is under the age of 18 and was living with the deceased at the time of his death.

Note: Each of these benefits, however, are subject to a formal application with "Retraite Québec".

To send an application to Retraite Québec with

Declaration of legal heirs

In the case of an intestate succession (an estate without a Will), this document is used to identify the heirs of the deceased.

Make yourself online the declaration of legal heirs with

Publication of an exemption from seizure clause in the RDPRM

If the Will contains a stipulation of unseizability or exemption from seizure clause, the recording of such a clause in the RDPRM protects heirs against a possible seizure.

Make yourself online the publication of the stipulation of unseizability in the RDPRM using

Renunciation in favorem (in favour of)

Legal document allowing an heir to renounce the succession/estate in favour of one or more heirs.

To make a renunciation in favorem, visit

Renunciation of a succession

Notarized document allowing an heir to renounce a succession/estate, particularly if the estate is in deficit

Note: A minor cannot renounce a succession.

To make a renunciation of the succession, visit

Estate inventory

Document that defines the assets and liabilities of the estate and allows the successors to determine whether the estate is solvent or not and to exercise their option. It is necessary to proceed with an inventory so that the heirs will not be liable for the payment of debts of the estate in excess of the value of the property they take.

Note: A liquidator is bound to make an inventory. The latter can be exempt from making an inventory only if all the heirs and successors agree to it.

Make yourself online the estate inventory with

Calculation of the partitionable value of acquests in the event of death

This calculation is used to determine the partitionable value of acquests following the death of one of the spouses married or civilly united under the regime of partnership of acquests and for the case where the surviving spouse would not be the sole heir or universal legatee of the deceased.

Make yourself online the calculation of the partitionable value of the partnership of acquests upon a death using

Obligation to file tax returns with the taxing authorities

  • In the absence of a liquidator, the heirs, where applicable, must file themselves the tax returns for the taxation year in which the person died, both with the Quebec taxing authorities (Revenu Quebec) and the Canadian taxing authorities (Canada Revenue Agency).
  • The taxation year is from January 1st of the year of death, up to and including the date of death. However, if the death occured after October 31st, the deadline to file a tax return is six months after the date of death.
  • The heirs must also pay, where applicable, the taxes of the deceased within the time limit provided by law.

Calculation of the partitionable value of the family patrimony upon a death

This calculation is used to determine the partitionable value of the family patrimony of married or civilly united spouses following the death of one of them, which will be useful only in the case where the surviving spouse is not the sole heir or universal legatee of the deceased.

Make yourself online the calculation of the partitionable value of the family patrimony upon a death using

Obligation to file tax returns with the taxing authorities

  • The liquidator of an estate must file, if any, the tax return for the taxation year in which the person died;
  • The taxation year is from January 1st of the year of death, up to and including the date of death. However, if the death occured after October 31st, the deadline to file a return is six months after the date of death.
  • The liquidator must also pay, where applicable, the taxes of the deceased within the time limit provided by law.

The rights and obligations of the liquidator

The liquidator:

  • acts with respect to the property of the estate as an administrator of the property of others charged with simple administration (such powers can be extended by the testator);
  • administers the estate;
  • realizes property of the estate to the extent necessary to pay the debts and legacies by particular title;
  • distributes the residue of the estate to the heirs;
  • is subject to strict rules under the Civil Code of Quebec.

Appointment of the liquidator

This process allows the heirs of the deceased to appoint a liquidator who will settle the estate.

Make yourself online the appointment of liquidator with

Liquidation of a succession/estate

The liquidation of a testate or intestate succession consists of:

  • first, paying off the debts of the estate, whether the deceased's debts, expenses of the estate or debts of support;
  • secondly, paying the legacies by particular title; and finally
  • distributing the property or the share to which each heir or universal legatee or legatee by general title is entitled.

Probate of the Will

Any holograph Will or Will made in the presence of witnesses is subject to a Court probate proceeding before being able to execute it.

For more information on the type of Will that should be probated, visit If you wish to have a Will probated, visit

Survival of the obligation to provide support

Every creditor of support (spouse, ex-spouse or descendant) may, within six months following the death, claim a financial contribution from the estate as a support.

Note: This right exists even if the creditor is an heir or legatee or the right to support has not been exercised prior to the date of death.

For more information see article 688 of the Civil Code of Québec.

Marital status search and verification of the matrimonial regime

This step allows you to know under what matrimonial regime was the deceased married or, if applicable, to confirm whether or not there had been a legal separation or divorce.

Conduct yourself online a marital status search and verification of the matrimonial regime using

Are the insurance policy benefits or the pension/retirement plan benefits included in the estate assets ?

  • In the presence of a life insurance policy with a designated beneficiary, the insurance proceeds are not included in the estate assets and the designated beneficiary will directly receive the proceeds of such insurance policy.
  • On the other hand, the proceeds of a life insurance policy that has no designated beneficiary or that is payable to the estate are included in the assets of the deceased's estate.

Mandatory Will Search

In Quebec, to proceed with the settlement of an estate, it is mandatory to obtain two Will search results, namely those issued by the "Chambre des Notaires du Québec" and the "Barreau du Québec" (Quebec Bar), in order to make sure to have the deceased's last Will on hand, if any.

Make yourself online a request for Will search using

Death certificate

The death certificate issued by the Registrar of Civil Status officially confirms and proves the death of a person. Obtaining this document is mandatory prior to the settlement of an estate.

Make yourself online a request for the death certificate with

The heirs' right of option

A successor has a period of six months to renounce the succession/estate, from the day he acquired this right.

For more information, visit

Funeral expenses

The funeral expenses are usually borne by the estate. However, if the estate is insolvent, it is the person who signed the contract with the funeral complex who will be bound to pay the funeral expenses.

Funeral arrangements and mode of disposal of the deceased's body

Any person of full age (adult) may determine the nature of his funeral and the disposal of his body. It is best to check first in the personal effects of the deceased, in case he had already made prior arrangements or left written instructions to that effect.

In the absence of instructions or wishes expressed by the deceased, the wishes of his heirs or successors prevail. In both cases, the heirs and successors are bound to act.

Once the different steps mentioned above would have been completed, the estate settlement will be achieved.

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