Probate and Succession (QC)

Updated Apr 5, 2024
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In Quebec, the term "probate" is reserved for the specific process of proving that a will is valid. The actual process of settling an estate is called liquidating a succession (see below), and must occur whether or not a will was probated.

Probating a Will

Wills that were prepared by a notary (i.e., "authentic wills") do not need to be probated, and are stored by the notary.

All other wills must be probated, even if signed by witnesses. To probate a will in court, you must submit the following documents to the court:

  • Application for Probate (see sample application)
  • The original will and any related codicils
  • Will search certificates from Barreau du Québec and Chambre des Notaires
  • A copy of the act of death issued by the Directeur de l’état civil
  • A sworn stating attesting to the validity of the will (see sample document 2)
  • A notice of presentation (see sample document 3)
  • Proof that successors and other interested parties received the notice

In Quebec, the Superior Court in the judicial district in which the deceased lived handles probate and estate administration (see court locations).

Quebec probate fees are just $223 (since this is only for validating the will, and not the overall succession). See Tariff of judicial fees in civil matters, CQLR c T-16, r 10, s15.

See Justice Quebec: Application for the Probate of Will for detailed instructions and the sample documents referenced above.

Alternatively, you can work with a notary to probate a will, as long as the will is not being challenged.

Liquidating a Succession

In Quebec, the process of collecting the assets of the deceased person, resolving any debts, paying any final taxes, winding up the person's personal affairs, and distributing the estate to the proper successors is called liquidating a succession.

In other provinces, this is called "settling the estate": it is the main focus of EstateExec, and addressed throughout this guide. However, Quebec is unique when it comes to certain aspects of the legal requirements, and while other provinces often require court involvement, Quebec only requires court involvement for uncontested successions if the will must be probated.

Rather than court involvement, Quebec instead requires you to interact with Le Registre des Droits Personnels et Réels Mobiliers (RDPRM) filling out a Form RG at different times for different steps:

  • Register that you are the liquidator
  • Register any exemptions from seizure stipulated in the will
  • Register a notice of closure of inventory
  • Register a notice of closure of the liquidator's account

There are a number of other non-RDPRM requirements as well: for example, if the succession includes real property, you must publish a notice in Registre foncier, and you are not allowed to distribute the succession to the rightful successors until you receive a clearance certificate from Revenu Québec (after filing a Notice Before Distribution of the Property of a Succession (Form MR-14.A-V)).

The Gouvernement du Québec has prepared a comprehensive guide that details these various requirements and steps: What to Do in the Event of Death.

To keep things simple across all jurisdictions, much of EstateExec refers to the liquidation process as "estate settlement", and refers to the interaction with the courts/government agencies as "probate", pointing out QC-specific difference when appropriate.

Additional Information

See EstateExec Reference: Manage Probate for instructions using EstateExec during the probate process, including identifying assets subject to probate, generating Inventory Reports, and more.

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