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Refusal of an insolvent estate

Refusal of succession is the possibility for an heir to refuse the succession, i.e. to accept or refuse to inherit the property of the deceased.

This refusal must be notified to the other heirs within six months of the date of death. Refusal of the estate is possible in certain situations, particularly when the estate is insolvent.

Definition of an insolvent estate

If the value of the estate’s assets is insufficient to pay creditors’ debts and bequests as an individual, the estate is insolvent. In other words, the total assets including cash are less than the debts, including the taxes of the deceased and the estate.

What are the consequences of accepting or refusing an insolvent estate?

The beneficiaries of the insolvent estate, i.e. the heirs, and the executor become personally liable for the unpaid debts. In the event that you are the heir to an insolvent estate, you will be left with the debts of the deceased.

An estate should not make any distribution of assets until all debts are paid, which should allow you to see concretely what you would inherit if you accepted the estate.

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Refusing an estate in Quebec

If you decide to renounce an estate, you must proceed with a notary, as the renunciation is done by notarial act. In the event that there are assets in the estate, it may be appropriate to file for bankruptcy in order to facilitate the disposition of certain assets, including real estate.

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Who pays the debts if the estate is refused?

The Public Trustee in the case of the administration of the insolvent estate, up to the value of the assets.

The trustee in bankruptcy in the context of the bankruptcy of the estate, up to the net realizable value of the assets.

The beneficiaries of the estate if there has been a distribution of assets and they have accepted the estate when it is insolvent. In this scenario, they are responsible for all debts, regardless of the value of the estate.

How much does it cost to refuse an estate?

It is a notarial act, so the fees depend on the notary retained.

What are the time limits for refusing an estate?

It is important not to proceed with any distribution until the decision on the acceptance or refusal of the estate is settled.

The decision must be made once the balance sheet, reflecting the assets and liabilities of the estate, is completed. It may take several months before the executor is able to determine all the assets and liabilities of the estate. This means that everything depends on the situation of the deceased.

Who should pay the debts of a deceased relative?

Any individual who has guaranteed the debts of the deceased and any person who has benefited from the distribution of the deceased’s estate when the debts have not been paid.

Who inherits if the estate is refused?

No one. The property is either turned over to the Public Trustee or the Trustee in Bankruptcy of the estate.

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Refusal of an insolvent estate

Refusal of succession is the possibility for an heir to refuse the succession, i.e. to accept or refuse to inherit the property of the deceased.

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Commercial bankruptcy is a procedure established by law to allow companies in financial difficulty to restructure and continue their activities.

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