A valid form of identification, like a driver’s licence or passport
Information about the co-executors, including their name, address and phone number
If there’s more than 1 executor, make sure that all executors are at the first meeting with their information
Information about the deceased, including their name, address, phone number, date of birth and date of death
Bring these documents:
An original or notarial copy of proof of death. A proof of death can be one of the following:
An act of death (in Quebec)
A death certificate
A funeral director’s Statement of Death
A physician’s Statement of Death
A declaratory judgment of death by a court
The original or notarial copy of the last will (if the deceased had a will)
The original or notarial copy of the probated will (if the deceased had a probated will)
Any bills or invoices related to funeral expenses or estate properties, like electricity, water or gas bills
What's an executor?
An executor is the person named by the deceased in the will to settle an estate. An estate can include assets like properties, bank accounts and personal possessions.
Sometimes, multiple executors are named in the will. Depending on the province, an executor is also known as:
An estate trustee
An estate representative
The responsibilities of an executor are to:
Let others know about the death. This includes all financial institutions that hold any of the deceased’s assets and service providers like telephone services.
Carry out the deceased’s wishes as outlined in the will (if they had a will) or according to local estate laws.
Keep track of the financial transactions for the estate, like bills related to properties or funeral expenses. An executor will also manage the deceased’s investments, real estate, personal items, business interests and creditors’ claims.
Settle all debts, taxes and liabilities before distributing the assets.
Communicate with the beneficiaries and distribute the assets.
File tax returns for the deceased and the estate.
Expenses that you may have to pay for right away could be:
There might be other bills or utilities that you have to pay.
In provinces other than Quebec, probate is the process of getting the court’s confirmation that the will is valid and confirm the executor’s authority to settle the estate.
How does probate protect me?
Probate protects the executor. If a claim is made later that the will is invalid, you may have to pay out of pocket for assets that you have distributed. If you have probate, it protects you against claims under a competing will.
How is probate different in Quebec?
Probate is less common in Quebec, where notarial wills are used most often. Only handwritten wills and wills made in the presence of witnesses must be probated by the court.
In Quebec, an estate representative is called the liquidator. There are different ways to establish the liquidator’s proof of authority.
Two will searches must be made through the Chambre des notaires du Québec and the Barreau du Québec. To establish proof of authority, the liquidator provides the 2 search certificates, and if there’s a will, 1 of the following:
A signed, handwritten will, along with probate
A will made before witnesses, along with probate
If there is no will, the liquidator provides the 2 search certificates and 1 of the following:
A marriage or civil union contract with a clause leaving all property to the surviving spouse.
Designation of liquidator by the court or by the heirs. If the designation comes from the heirs, the liquidator also needs to provide a Declaration of Heredity.
If the deceased person lived in a province outside Quebec, a letter of administration or a similar document from the court.
Acting as an executor can be a time consuming and major responsibility. It can also expose you to personal liability if there are errors in the administration of the estate.
As agent for executor, we can help you navigate this complicated process. We’ll help you fulfill your executor duties by managing the day to day administration of the estate. You’ll still maintain control of all decisions.
We have experience in probate, taxes, property management, asset valuation, estate litigation and investment management. We’re best suited for estates where assets, including real estate, are over $1 million.