The first step that must be completed following the passing of a loved one is a will search. A will search must be performed even if you are certain that the person never signed a will. The results confirm if your loved one signed a will with a notary or a lawyer in the province of Quebec. A holograph (handwritten) will or a will signed in the presence of two witnesses would not appear on the will search certificates.
If the person who passed away owned an immovable property in the province of Quebec, such as a home, condo, multiplex, or vacant land, a transfer of ownership must be completed. This transfer deed is called a Declaration of Transmission and must be prepared by a Notary and registered in the Land Register of Quebec. This Declaration of Transmission becomes the ownership title of the person who inherited the immovable property.
When a person dies without leaving a will, the Civil code of Quebec determines who inherits and how much they receive. A Declaration of Heirship is signed in all cases where there is no will. This document is used to identify the heirs of the succession and the proportion of their inheritance by law. Since a liquidator was not appointed in a will, the heirs can choose to designate a liquidator who would handle the settlement of the succession.
A holograph (handwritten) will and a will made in the presence of two witnesses must be probated after the testator’s death by a Notary or by the Court. The purpose of probate is to recognize the will as official and ready for use. A will prepared by a Notary does not need to be probated. Probate confirms that the will was prepared and signed by the deceased or at his or her request, and that the legal requirements have been met.