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Main steps in settling a succession (estate)

The liquidator must take the following steps to settle a succession.

The 13 steps described below present an overview of the process a liquidator must follow in order to discharge his or her obligations and responsibilities.

  1. Obtain the official documents (death certificate or copy of the act of death issued by the Directeur de l’état civil, marriage or civil union contract). 
  2. Search for the last will (will search certificates from the Chambre des notaires and the Barreau du Québec) and have it probated (if it was not made before a notary).
  3. Identify the successors and contact them in order to settle succession.
  4. Ask to have the notice of designation of the liquidator or the liquidator’s replacement registered in the Register of personal and movable real rights (RDPRM).
  5. Inform the governments of Québec and Canada, financial institutions and service providers (credit cards, debit cards, etc.) of the person’s death.
  6. Draw up the inventory of the succession’s property and debts, then publish the notice of closure of the inventory in the RDPRM and have it published in a newspaper distributed in the locality where the deceased’s last known address is located.
  7. Open a bank account in the name of the succession.
  8. Settle the rights of the legal spouse (family patrimony, matrimonial regime, compensatory allowance, support payments, etc.).
  9. Recover the sums owed to the deceased (salary and wages, benefits, pensions), pay the debts of the deceased and the succession (income tax, rent, spouse’s rights in the family patrimony, real estate taxes, credit cards, etc.).
  10. File the deceased’s income tax returns with Revenu Québec and the Canada Revenue Agency and obtain the certificate authorizing the distribution of property (Gouvernement du Québec) and the clearance certificate (Government of Canada).
  11. Distribute the legacies by particular title, the property and the money to the heirs in accordance with the terms of the will, or in accordance with the law if there is no will.
  12. Notify the Curateur public du Québec if a person under age 18 is receiving an inheritance worth more than $25,000.
  13. Submit the final account of the succession and publish the notice of closure of the liquidator’s account in the RDPRM.


In your role as liquidator, it may be useful for you to keep a written record of your activities, communications and transactions at every stage in the process of settling the succession (file numbers, names of persons contacted, their contact information, etc.).

Last update: December 20, 2022


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