Liquidating an estate
Even though any person of full age may liquidate an estate, there are many situations in which it would be advisable to appoint an impartial third party as the liquidator.
Conflicts often arise during the liquidation of an estate. Just like during a divorce, certain family members may take advantage of the situation to settle old scores and this can negatively impact the proper administration of the estate liquidation process. In a somewhat different vein, estates with assets in foreign countries are more and more common. It can prove difficult to navigate through legal jurisdictions where the laws differ from ours.
At Touchette Lamarre, Notaries, we recommend appointing a notary as your liquidator for the following reasons:
- Impartiality of the notary
- Legal knowledge
- Liability insurance
Impartiality of the notary
Notaries shall be impartial when occupying their office. Any bias whatsoever is prohibited and the Chambre des notaires may sanction any notary who contravenes this principle. You can then rest assured that there will be no favoritism toward a particular heir and that the partition of the estate will be fair.
Notaries have a law degree as well as a master’s or a master’s in notarial law. Among the several courses completed during their studies, it is mandatory to complete at least one or more courses on estates. Also, a notary has the knowledge required to consult the applicable laws in different jurisdictions. Whether it be to transfer the Florida condo or navigate through forced heirship, a concept born from French law, your notary is the best ally you can have.
Everyone makes mistakes, even notaries! However, as professionals we must have liability insurance of at least one million dollars. In short, even though this occurs very rarely, if your notary commits a major error when settling the estate, you can sue to retrieve the money lost, which is probably not the case of the “nice person from your entourage who will be glad to help you and take control of settling the estate” and who managed to squander huge sums of money for entirely unknown reasons!