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An estate lawyer in Québec will be able to help you protect all of your rights as laid out in law D-16 which covers many notions of estate law in Québec. Namely, law D-16 concerns and highlights many inheritance rights and ultimately defines the law surrounding how a liquidator or an an estate liquidation should be carried out.
At Sabbagh & Associé, our team of estate lawyers regularly provide legal expertise to those finding themselves in situations where there are questions related to estate law and more often find our firm providing legal counsel on best ways to go about settling estate dispute matters. Sabbagh & Associé is well versed in the many facets of family estate, inheritance law and successions and has been offering estate law legal services for over 30 years.
In short, estate law concerns itself with succession law and how it relates to a deceased family members property, assets, debts and so forth.
Please note that as estate law can be extremely intricate in certain families that is always recommended to talk with one of our estate lawyers in Montreal should there be any ambiguity in the understanding of the deceased’s inheritance, estate, assets or any other matters related to the deceased possessions.
The estate lawyer’s act
Upon the death of a person, property that they owned, in legal terms, their succession, will need to be liquidated. This action in Québec and the rest of Canada is done by a liquidator. Typically the liquidator will have to:
- Obtain proof of death
- Find out if a will exists
- Have the will legally verified
- Identify the heirs, the property to be liquidated
- Then proceed to the liquidation by settling the debts and sharing the property
The procedure of liquidating ones estate can often times be a long and complex task. There are instances where litigation on behalf of an estate lawyer could be required in the event of disputes in the will, estate wishes and or understanding of the deceased inheritance wishes. When there are debates that arise or conflicts brewing, it is recommended to meet with a lawyer experienced in estate litigation, inheritance law and succession law.
Subtleties of estate law regarding wills worthwhile noting
Immediate legal heirs in certain instances may ultimately be chosen to act as executors of a will or possibly be selected as recipients of part or all of an estate when there is no legal will available and this is the decision of the courts. Without a valid legal will there are many instances where a family, possibly friends of a deceased may have interest in contesting elements of an estate and/or the executor selected.
Litigation may also be required in the case of theft or fraud of a will. Moreover, although the procedure of executing a will notifies the public of the liquidator’s identity, this does not prevent legal heirs from requesting for the replacement of or liquidator’s removal.
A properly drafted legal will serves to clearly define and identify all property, assets and “inventory” of one deceased life to be distributed and to whom. An executors duties will typically require them to file tax returns and get tax certificates of the property before paying the debts and distribute estate property. Estate litigation conflict often can arise regarding the inheritance taxes or when the debts appear to be more significant than the value of property to be liquidated.
Examples of occurrences when settling an estate without a valid legal will
An inconvenient truth is that there are often times when quite simply an elected executor does not have a valid legal will to work with. This is often due to the simple fact that the deceased, prior to their death di d not do the due diligence of properly drafting their will into a legally bonding document.
When this is the case, it can arise that the succession, inheritance and overall process of estate liquidation is determined by the courts and law’s governing the liquidation of an estate without a will. The property in such instances is distributed rightful heirs according to their relationship status with the deceased. For example, if the deceased leaves behind children and spouse, children can receive up to 2/3 of the deceased’s assets while his spouse could receive up to 1/3rd.
Another occurence that can arise in the handling of an estate can arise when an executor requests to be exempt of the duties and role as executor.
Finally, we highly recommended calling us if deceased leaves more debts than property. The liquidator will then have to wait before settling debts.
For any disputes in the settlement of an estate, conflict between family matters or conflicts in general surrounding estate law, trust the over 30 years of experience of estate law litigation in Montreal to Sabbagh & Associé.
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