Normally, a liquidator is appointed by the deceased in his will. In the absence of a will, the role of the liquidator will devolve as of right to the heirs. In turn, the heirs may designate a liquidator by way of majority vote. In the event of a dispute, the heirs may request that the courts appoint a liquidator.

Anyone capable of fully exercising her/his civil rights may become a liquidator.[1]

Several family disputes may be avoided if the liquidator is selected during the estate planning process.

If several liquidators are appointed, they must act in concert and make all decisions together.

Similarly, an alternate liquidator should be named in case the original liquidator cannot or will not perform such a role. In this scenario, should there not be an alternate liquidator, the courts would be obliged to appoint one.

Whether it is by designation or by appointment, such an action must be registered at the Registre des droits personnels et réels mobiliers (hereinafter the “RDPRM”) and/or the Registre foncier in order for it to be valid vis-à-vis third parties.[2]

It is important to mention that the liquidator is personally liable for any negligent, fraudulent or incomplete acts that he may undertake while executing his functions.

Heirs may be liable for the debts of a succession by knowingly refusing or neglecting to make an inventory themselves or requesting from the courts an order forcing the liquidator to make an inventory within the prescribed delays.

Such an omission, along with other actions such as the appropriation of the deceased’s property before making an inventory may be considered as a tacit acceptance of the succession and all its debts, irrespective of the succession’s solvency.

[1] Ibid art. 783.

[2] An Act to amend the Code of Civil Procedure and other legislative provisions in relation to notarial matters, SQ 1998, c 51.

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The above noted text should not be construed as providing legal advice or a statement of your claim. The process highlighted above are merely parameters and barometers and do not constitute any warranties and guaranties with regards to your file at hand. We strongly recommend that you seek legal advice with a licensed attorney from the Barreau du Quebec or a notary at the Chambre des Notaires. Each case must be seen and analysed on its merits as the legal process may be complex and cumbersome.

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