Estate settlement
A process with many steps

The death of a loved one is always a difficult time. In such an event, the settlement of the estate may become a painful challenge for the heirs. Sometimes old family strains burst anew complicating the process. Even if all is well, the settlement adds a level of stress for the heirs that are already dealing with their grief.



It is indeed a rather complex and
demanding process with many steps:

Obtaining the death certificate and searching for the will
Appointment and registration of estate liquidator
Contacting all the heirs
Opening of an estate bank account
Establishment of the inventory of the deceased’s assets and liabilities
Registration and posting of the closed inventory notice
Payment of debts
Filing of the tax returns for the deceased and the estate
Obtaining the certificates authorizing the disposal of assets
Production of a final accounts tally and distribution of the assets to the heirs

Estate settlement made easy thanks to a notary

To enable your family to mourn under the best conditions, don’t hesitate to call on a notary. As an expert in estate settlements, this professional will save you time and energy throughout the administrative process. You may appoint him to assist you in the process, particularly for the following steps:

Meet with a notary

  • Initiate the estate settlement process (death certificate)
  • Search for a will
  • Determine the estate liquidator or proceed with a designation
  • Coach the liquidator during the process
  • Help the liquidator to perform his duties under the law
  • Provide advice to the heirs so that they take beneficial financial decisions
  • Avoid all legal prejudice to the liquidator or the heirs

Who is the estate liquidator?

The individual appointed to handle the estate settlement is the « liquidator ». The individual may be identified in the will or appointed by the heirs. Many individuals can share the responsibilities if underlined in the will. There is no obligation to accept this responsibility even though the liquidator has been appointed by the deceased. Know that it is always an option to appoint a notary, lawyer, or accountant to handle the estate settlement. However, only a notary or a lawyer may provide legal advice relevant to the settlement of an estate.

What happens with the debts of the deceased?

Usually, the heirs must pay the debts of the deceased. Creditors are in their right to request their due from you. That is why it is best to consult a professional before proceeding with the settlement of an estate. He will underline if the estate records a deficit whereas the debts exceed the assets.

Must you accept an estate that is in deficit?

When the value of an estate’s assets is lower than its debts to creditors, the situation is less than favorable for the heirs. Thankfully, the law allows renouncing a debt-ridden estate. In such circumstances, one must proceed with caution and be patient as the simple transfer of property, a vehicle, or money owned by the deceased to your account will be legally deemed as the acceptance of the estate. In any doubt, consult a professional!

Call upon a respectful and thorough team

For the settlement of an estate, Bessette Notaires offers you the services of thorough and diligent experts that will help you with the numerous steps required. To ensure your peace of mind, our notaries will also explain fiscal issues and provide relevant advice. Make your life easier and book an appointment.