Law to better protect
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Liquidation of a succession refers to the series of operations undertaken after a person’s death to determine what their assets are, once their debts have been paid. Broadly speaking, the liquidation process involves three steps: compiling an inventory of the deceased person’s assets and debts, temporarily administering their estate, and distributing the property to the heirs.
Sometimes the legal, dative or suppletive tutor is also responsible for some of the child’s property as an estate liquidator or trustee.
The portion of property corresponding with this mandate should be managed by the tutor in their capacity as liquidator or trustee, not in their capacity as tutor.
They should therefore undertake a separate administration from that they perform as tutor (make separate investments, keep separate accounts, etc.) and act based on the obligations and powers corresponding with each of the functions performed. In practice this means:
Peter Smith dies in a road accident. The Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec pays a $30,000 indemnity in favour of his 13-year-old child.
NOTE: Once the estate is liquidated, the property bequeathed to the child is added to the child’s patrimony. As legal tutor, the mother must now include it in the administration report she gives to the Curateur public and the tutorship council. However, she no longer has to keep the accounting separate.
The late Mr. Smith’s will appoints the child’s mother as liquidator of the estate.