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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Does an executor have to pay the deceased's unpaid debts out of his own money?


This isn't going to be a quick yes or no answer because, as with everything in law, much depends on the circumstances of each case. Here are some general rules you can work with.

The debts of an estate (including income tax) must be paid before any beneficiaries receive their money. If an executor ignores the debts and pays the beneficiaries, the executor may be held personally liable for those debts.

If paying the debts first means that the beneficiaries get little or nothing out of the estate, this is not the executor's fault.

Often an executor asks about debts because there are more debts than there are assets in an estate. An executor should a) honestly try to figure out what legally enforceable debts exist, b) be very careful to put appropriate values on estate assets, and c) use the estate assets to pay the debts. Where there is a lot of debt, this usually means selling assets to realize a cash value that can be divided among creditors. If there is not enough money to pay everyone 100% of what is owed to them, the executor may have to try to negotiate a settlement whereby each creditor gets a certain amount on the dollar.

If the estate is fully used up to pay the legally enforceable debts and expenses, and there are still debts of the deceased unpaid, the executor does not have to use his own money to pay them. That's assuming, of course, that the executor has not done anything fraudulent or negligent with the estate's money.

When listing the debts of an estate, the executor should remember to include debts that are not payable immediately but that will become payable in the future, such as income tax at the end of the year.

To protect himself or herself against personal liability, an executor should advertise in the newspaper for creditors and claimants against the estate. Doing so won't overcome any negligence on behalf of the executor, but assuming there is no negligence, advertising for creditors certainly helps.

59 comments:

  1. Hi Lynne,
    My dad recently passed away and I came across your website (very well done by the way) when I was doing research. My dad owes a lot of debt and I've also been paying his condo fees, electricity bills, etc. since he had left no will and I cannot sell his property. When I go to repay the debts once I become the executor, can I make it a priority to get my money back first, then pay off the creditors (e.g. credit card companies). Thanks for your help!

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  2. Hi Lynne,
    My sister and I are equally joint beneficiaries and executrices of my father's will. His entire estate consisted of one R.R.I.F and two small life insurances policies both of which we are equal beneficiaries. There is also a joint bank account (me and my father) with documented survivorship.

    If money is paid directly to the beneficiaries of the R.R.I.F and insurance policies and if I can prove ownership of the bank account, what is used to pay his Income Tax owing and any remaining bills. I have been using the joint account for this purpose, but I am now questioning doing this. There is not enough funds in this bank account (and never was enough funds) to pay his taxes owing.



    Thanks,

    Lena

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    Replies
    1. Hi Lena,
      The creditors whose bills remain unpaid are probably going to be out of luck in terms of being paid, since there isn't anything in the estate to pay them with. Be,aware that creditors can challenge your claim to the joint bank account, based on the fact that joint accounts such as the one you describe are presumed in law to belong to the parent's estate unless proven otherwise.

      If there are a lot of bills, you may want to get legal advice as to which bills have priority legally, so that you pay the right ones.

      Canada Revenue Agency is another matter. There will be tax payable on the RRIF. CRA may not be willing to let those go unpaid. They have the ability to go after the recipients of the RRIF to get the taxes paid.

      Lynne

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  3. Dear Lynne:
    My sister and I were executives of my father's estate and to our knowledge, all debts were paid, and we received the final clearance certificate from Revenue Canada nearly three years ago, and so the estate was disbursed and the estate account was closed out.
    Now nearly three years later, I got a letter from my dad's pension fund claiming that a bill for an an overpayment against his pension fund was not paid.
    It's been three years since the estate account was closed off so I am not sure ... I thought I sent them a cheque at the time, but it's been so long that I am not certain. We did do an advertisement at the time to make sure there were outstanding debts and had no response. So I thought it was over and done with, long ago.
    Now I am getting this letter. Are my sister and I responsible even though the estate was long ago wrapped up and we got the clearance certificate?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You and your sister are executors for life, so you do legally have to deal with anything that comes up on the estate.

      If you paid out the beneficiaries when there was an outstanding debt, you may be responsible for the payment of the debt yourselves.

      You raise a good point about advertising for creditors. If you had never heard of this pension plan and they missed out on the deadline you imposed in your notice to creditors, you would have a good case for refusing to pay them. However, you suggest that you did know about them because you said you thought you sent them a cheque. .

      An executor really should still have estate records three years later, since it's not that unusual for things to pop up, but if you don't have any, then you'll have to reconstruct what you did. If you paid estate debts using cheques, do you still have the cancelled cheques? Or can you find them online using the account number?

      The Clearance Certificate only means that the estate does not owe any more taxes. It doesn't mean that you can't be held responsible for other things.

      Lynne

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  4. I am one of two Executors on my parents' Wills. When calculating the Value of the Estate, there were only 2 assets at death; bank account and condo. Now in the Debt of the Estate, funeral expenses have been indicated by the other Personal Representative (Executor). Both funerals were pre-arranged and pre-paid, so I consider only the supplementary/additional expenses to be a Debts of the Estate, but the other PR has indicated the entire cost of the funeral. Is this correct?

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  5. My brother recently passed away without a will. According to our best estimates, his estate is insolvent. Members of the family have little appetite to take on administration of the estate, as it will mean a significant amount of work, for absolutely no benefit, and we are already burdened with another family estate to deal with. What happens if no one steps forward, and simply walk away? Total value of the estate (including real estate) is under 250K

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    Replies
    1. If you're hoping that some unknown person will simply step in and do the job for you, unasked, I wouldn't count on it. If nobody does anything, the house will fall apart for lack of maintenance, and will eventually be taken by the municipality for non-payment of property taxes. Any money left in unclaimed bank accounts will continue to sit there until eventually, years later, it's paid to the Bank of Canada.

      Rather than walking away, why not call a trust company and ask if they'll do the estate for you, or perhaps ask if they'll help with the estate you're already working on? The value of the estate doesn't really matter when the person has already passed away, and by using a trust company you can hand over literally all of the legwork. I worked for Scotiatrust for 7 years, and can vouch for their skill with estate work.

      Lynne

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  6. Lynne:
    I am the executor of an estate that had a HUGE tax bill (multi-million$) because most of the assets were in an RRSP that became fully taxable upon death. Unfortunately the assets in the RRSP were in small penny stocks that have since gone down in value, in some cases off the board or down 95% ! We had been systematically selling stock to cover the tax bill ($50,000 each month) but now the value of the portfolio is significantly less than the remaining tax bill because of the drastic drop in portfolio value in the last year. Is there any liability on my part? How can the CRA expect me to "play the markets" to sell at the right time to cover this expense. Your advice would be much appreciated. Thanks !

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  7. Lynne,

    I have and received the CPP death benefit in regards to my father's death. I am the executor and the cheque is made out to the Estate of...Am I allowed to cash this cheque and use those funds to pay and recoup costs of his cremation and celebration of life expenses before any of his debts are paid? This would include any debts to the bank.
    Any advice would be appreciated. Regards.

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    Replies
    1. The expenses you mention are exactly those which the CPP death benefit is designed to cover. Normally an executor opens an estate bank account, rather than cashing a cheque, partly because that gives the bank the opportunity to verify his or her right to the money. There is no doubt you're allowed to deposit it. Whether you can just cash it might be another matter.

      Lynne

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  8. Lynne:
    I am not sure if you or anyone can help me here. My Son passed away at the end of May, he left no will, has no spouse and had a life life insurance policy through his place of employment worth $55,000 of which he never named a beneficiary. He had a small pension of which he did name myself as the beneficiary. Now where it gets complicated is he lived and died in Manitoba and I live in Ontario. The holder of the life insurance says that I cannot be appointed as the executor as I don't reside in Manitoba so I asked my brother if he would apply to be the executor. He was denied after filing documents at the court office as they said he would have to put up his house etc and have a $120,000 bond before they would appoint him, quite obviously neither he nor I am willing to have him do that. Before my Son's death his house was foreclosed on and they advised that the bank can go back on the executor for up to 10 years to have this debt paid. Also when going through his personal items which mostly consisted of clothes and documents we found money owing for a reassessment to 2010 taxes which looks like he did not pay, we know he did not file his 2014 taxes and we don't know whether he ever paid his 2013 taxes so who is responsible for all this debt and outstanding taxes. Do I have to turn over the pension proceeds that I was named beneficiary to since I have already had to pay $8500 for his funeral, $3000 to travel to where he used to live which was a 2400 km round trip to get his few belongings and have a small memorial service there. It just seems like it would be a huge expense for us to hire a lawyer in the other province to try and get the small insurance and I certainly cannot afford to pay out any money to a lawyer when there is still a headstone to purchase. I just have no idea what or where to turn.

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    Replies
    1. I'm really sorry to hear about your son's passing.

      Hiring a lawyer is an option, as you've mentioned. A less expensive option could be to hire a trust company in Manitoba. They could apply to be co-administrators with you, and no bond would be required. I don't know for sure if they'd take any particular case, but it might be worth a call to find out. They are usually cheaper than lawyers because they don't bill by the hour, and they have a lot of training and experience with estates.

      Whoever is appointed by the court as administrator is responsible for filing the tax returns, including any that you find out were not filed for past years. This doesn't mean that the administrator has to pay the taxes personally, but he or she does have to pay the taxes to the extent that the estate can do so. Neither will the executor be held personally liable for any loss to the bank under the foreclosure.

      Canada Revenue Agency has the right to pursue individuals who receive certain gifts, such as RRSPs, that generate tax but I don't know of any similar right extending to pensions.

      I wish you all the best with this, and if you need the number of someone at a trust company in Manitoba, I can provide that to you.

      Lynne

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  9. Thank you Lynne for your quick response. A number for a Trust company in Winnipeg, MB or even Thompson, MB (this is where he lived) would be helpful as all this has me so stressed out and it seems like nobody at the courts are even willing to help or give guidance on what to do or where to go.

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  10. Can I ask about liability to pay the income taxes of a deceased if Letters Probate or Letters of Administration are never sought? All of the assets are jointly held by parent and daughter: house is in joint tenancy, and all bank accounts are jointly held. Is this a loophole? How can the Canada Revenue Agency go after the daughter in these circumstances? Nothing has been filed in court, so I do not see how the CRA has any claim against the daughter. Thanks for your help.

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  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    Replies
    1. I disagree that only 10% of the assets are "legally" in the estate. All of the items that were jointly owned between your grandmother and your father are legally in the estate. This is the case because it is known that your grandmother did not intend for your father to inherit those items for his own use. Her intention was to distribute them among beneficiaries. The rules about joint ownership changed in 2007 and apparently your father and grandmother were not aware of that. I suggest that your father prepare an amended inventory of the estate, file it with the court, and pay the additional probate fee, the administer the estate according to the will. Otherwise he could be sued by any of the beneficiaries, not to mention your bankruptcy trustee.

      Lynne

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    2. Thank you for your help Lynee. It does sounds like they were not aware of the change in rules. We`ll have to adjust accordingly.

      Delete
  12. Hi there,

    Very good article - I do have a question in regards to the recent passing of my girlfriend's father. She is the beneficiary on his life policy - if she becomes the executor, does that mean she would have to pay off the debts using the life insurance she received?

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  13. Hello lynne
    I have a question. I'm the executor of my mom's will as I'm the oldest. I have 1 sister. Can I get a trust company to do the probate or do I have to get a probate lawyer. Our mom had no money for anything . Her funeral expenses were paid for.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are you sure that probate is necessary? If there is a house, then it is, but other than that, it may not be required at all.

      If the estate is quite small, a trust company may not wish to take it on, simply because their fees would eat up the small estate, and they don't want that any more than you do. If matters are simple, you might consider doing it yourself. There are kits available in some provinces.

      Lynne

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  14. Can the CRA come after the children of the deceased for unpaid debt if there was no money left in the estate at the time of death.

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  15. Here's a question. If someone passes away with no money in their estate and there is debt owed to the CRA, can the CRA come after the children for money owed?

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  16. Hi Lynne. My mother passed away over a year ago but recently I received a letter from revenue Canada saying she owes them money. There was no money in her estate when she passed away. Does this mean I am responsible for paying that debt with my own money?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mgf,
      Like you, I am an ordinary person trolling through here looking for answers, when your comments caught my eye.
      What do you mean your mother had "no money"? Was she old enough to be receiving a pension? Did she not have even a bank account?
      Presumably she did not own a house or a car. If she had been without an income for the previous tax year she would not be owing tax on income she did not make.
      Did you file a final income tax form for your mother? Do you have access to her previous years' tax information? Is there a phone number on the letter from CRA you can call to clarify?
      Did you apply for the Death Benefit after she died?
      You need to provide more details specific to your situation to get a really useful answer.

      Delete
  17. Hi Lynn
    My father recently passed & my Brother & are Executors = I being the one ding everything. Our parents borrowed $20k from my Brother years ago. However that Will it's null & void as my Dad has a new Will done & doesn't state directly about this loan. There's no paperwork about the loan either. I have all intentions of relaying my Brother. The original Will stated to repay my Brother upon their death. However, when I'm listing all the Liabilities & Assets do I even include this debt? Or after all creditors & debts are paid then it just comes off what's left and THEN e will divide the residue of the estate. ~ thanks Cher

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  18. I'm the executrix of my Dads estate. One of the creditors that my Father owes is stating that his account is now going into Collection and if I sign something it'll will essentially remove me from the calling list. I have no intention of signing anything and I've read in your blog (which is great & thank you very much) that creditors of the deceased will try to go after the heirs. This Kerstin also asked me when the estate will be settled & I started he's only been gone a month & the process takes time. They're daily interest charges are $7/day
    Am I correct to not sign anything?
    Thank you
    Cher

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    Replies
    1. I have no idea what he wanted you to sign so honestly I couldn't say for sure whether you were right not to sign it. I can only guess that he wanted you to personally assume or guarantee the debt, in which case you were right not to sign it.

      I usually tell impatient creditors of an estate the following:
      - I agree to list them as a creditor of the estate
      - I want all paperwork that shows the amount of the debt
      - The estate will be in a position to deal with debts within 6 months, assuming probate is granted and assets can be called in by then
      - I will pay the amount of the debt up to the date of death but not anything that accumulates after the date of death.

      If they don't like that last bit, too bad. They should know better than to try to gouge an estate for daily interest charges when they know full well you don't yet have access to estate assets.

      Lynne

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  19. Thank you so very much Lynne! Great help! When I went there I told then I will not be signing anything! The person there said, in I spoke with my supervisor and was informed that your right you don't need to sign anything as you are not your Dad.
    Lynne do I need to inform them that will not be paying interest after my Father was deceased?
    I sure appreciate your blog and your help!

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  20. My brother passed away without a will. He was living with my parents so he had no assets of value (clothes) and perhaps some credit card debt. Does someone have to be appointed to cancel his documents and complete his final taxes, or can a member of the family do this. I have no clue what to do as there is no estate. Any help would be appreciated.

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  21. As an executor of an insolvent estate in BC, who should I pay first? Income Tax to CRA, money owed to landlord this month, or debts owed to the government of BC? Any help would be appreciated :)

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  22. Hi there. I am the executor of my Father in Law's will. He passed away recently. He owes a substantial amount from previous years to the CRA for back taxes but has next to nothing in terms of assets. There is minimal money, no home, no RSPS or investments of any sort. He has a car that's about it. (No spouse).
    Am I responsible for his CRA bill from prior years since there is not enough to cover it with what he has?
    I understand the creditor piece but CRA is daunting.

    Does his CRA debt transfer to me or any of his children?

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  23. My mother passed this past weekend . named me as executor and wished that all possessions divided equally between myself and my brother.
    She lived in a bachelor apt with simple furniture. She had less than $100 in her bank account.( not sure but I think her last CPP / OAS cheque still gets deposited )
    I have 6 weeks to vacate her apt. and no place to store anything.
    My brother said all he wants is computer and I was going to take the TV. ...my plan was to give away or donate the furniture.
    Unfortunately see had about $15,000 in credit card debt

    Do I have to hold onto her furniture TV & Computer in order to be not personalty responsible for her debts ???

    I don't have any money myself to store her stuff or even pay for a mover.

    It seems like undue hardship on me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Gary,
      Yes, the estate gets to keep the CPP and OAS for the month your mom died, but nothing after that.

      The general rules is that you are not personally responsible for your mother's debts, even when the estate is not enough to pay them. Storage isn't much of a solution, I agree, because it costs money the estate doesn't have.

      I'd be careful about giving things away if they have even a small amount of value. Perhaps something like a garage sale could be arranged? There are always things in an estate that are going to be thrown away, such as used bed sheets. But there could be even a couple of hundred dollars in value in the furniture perhaps.

      I am talking about selling the furniture rather than giving it away simply because I want to make sure that you can honestly say to the creditors that you squeezed every possible cent out of the estate that you could. That way nobody can blame you for anything. All legitimate debts must be paid before beneficiaries get anything, so if you give away the TV and computer, you can be held liable for their value personally.

      Also be aware that credit card companies are famous for telling executors they are responsible for estate debts, but they are completely wrong. So long as you have used the estate to pay the debts to the extent that it can, you are NOT responsible no matter what they say.

      Lynne

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  24. Hi Lynne, I've been reading many of your posts and find the information extremely valuable. I've now got a question for you.
    I've been in a common-law relationship for 20 years and we're just now arranging our wills.
    My spouse has a daughter from her previous marriage (her previous spouse is deceased) and I have no children from my previous marriage.
    As we're writing our wills she has designated her daughter beneficiary to her RRSPs. My common-law spouse also has sole title to the home we live in.
    She is designating that her daughter and I will be 50%-50% owners of the house and that I can live in the house until my death or whenever I chose to leave.
    My understanding is that if she was to die that her daughter would receive the full value of the RRSP (~400k) and the estate would be responsible for the income taxes on that amount. If there are no other assets in the estate to pay the taxes does that mean the house would have to be sold to pay CRA or would the daughter as beneficiary have to pay the taxes.
    Thanks

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    Replies
    1. You're correct that the daughter would receive the full amount of the RRSP and that CRA would look to the estate to pay the taxes. CRA has an option on how and where to get the taxes because the beneficiary (i.e the daughter in this case) and the estate are jointly liable for the payment of the taxes. So the CRA could go after either one. In practice, they go to the estate first and only to the beneficiary if there are no other assets. Because they have this option, I couldn't say for sure which way they'd go.

      Lynne

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    2. Hi Lynne, thanks for the reply, I appreciate it. I'd asked another question yesterday but I'm not seeing it here now, so I'll ask again if it's ok. In your opinion do you think a clause in the will stating that any taxes generated as a result of deregistering RSP's to an unqualified beneficiary will be paid from the funds of that RSP and not the estate? Would that be enforceable and defensible and compel the beneficiary to pay the taxes? Don't get me wrong, my relationship with my step-daughter is very good, she views me as her parent and I see her as my daughter. I'm just trying to cover all the bases here since, as you've mentioned elsewhere in the blog, money can make normal people behave abnormally sometimes.
      Thanks,
      Ian

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    1. Anything you can do about what? That they have to refuse? That they have to pay $450? I don't see why you'd have to refuse unless you're named in the will, which seems unlikely since you had no relationship with him. There's really not enough information in your question for me to know what you're trying to achieve.

      Lynne

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  27. Hi. My son in laws father passed away last September. There were just 2 beneficiaries of the estate, my son-in-law and his brother. Life Insurance and Pension was left to the ex wife. The brother and sister of the deceased took care of the funeral. At first they told the sons, they would talk to the ex wife about paying it. When the ex wife didn't respond they said it would come out of the estate. The estate closed 2 weeks ago and monies disbursed. The funeral costs were not taken out. The family is now threatening to sue for the cost of the funeral. Are they able to do this and win?

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    Replies
    1. They should be suing the executor. It's the executor's job to pay the bills before paying the beneficiaries. Whoever was in charge of the estate made a mistake and if they can't get the funds back from the beneficiaries, they can bear the cost personally.

      Lynne

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  28. Lynne,

    Great website with lots of great info - very well presented. I am working to be named estate trustee for my mother's estate as she had no will - and have two questions.

    1) There is very little money in the estate and significant credit card debt. She does have some possessions that are in a house she shared with a sibling (and spouse and grandchildren). Can we "liquidate" the possessions by selling them to ourselves at an appraised value - to retain them - while paying out the portion of the debt that the sale would generate or do we need to actually sell the items?

    2) Some possessions were shared - as they were in the common household. How would we define which are hers and which were shared (and could therefore be considered outside the estate)?

    Thanks in advance!

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  30. Am I responsible for my husbands hidden credit line if there is anything owing on it? I'm the beneficiary to his estate but had no knowledge of this account. Found clues while searching.

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    Replies
    1. You personally are not responsible for his debts. However, his estate IS responsible for his debts. Therefore assets of his estate must legally be used to pay off this secret credit line. Whether or not you knew about it has nothing to do with anything.

      You said you are the beneficiary of his estate, so I assume that means in his will (as opposed to joint ownership or designated beneficiary on registered assets). This means the debts - even the secret ones - have to be paid before you get paid.

      Questions like this make me glad I'm single.

      Lynne

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  31. The estate owes me 100 and some odd dollars. The executed also the POA does not answer my emails and was unwilling to pay me back prior to the person dying despite saying she would
    How do I get my money back?

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  32. The estate owes me 100 and some odd dollars. The executed also the POA does not answer my emails and was unwilling to pay me back prior to the person dying despite saying she would
    How do I get my money back?

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  33. My daughter recently passed away and the only thing she had of value was her car that I sold for $2100, her clothes and furniture. SHe owes $900 to income tax. Am I responsible for paying the debt to income tax

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    Replies
    1. If you have sold her items and kept the money, then yes you should be paying the income tax. If you used her money to pay for a funeral, then no.

      Lynne

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  34. Lynne, my father passed away in January of 2015. He had sold his belongings before passing as he had a terminal disease and really had only his vehicle until he could no longer drive it. He was on OAS and CPP. He was poor. I recieved death benifit which paid for part of his cremation and service and I used his bank account money about 1000.00 to pay for the rest. Now CRA say the estate needs to pay 3000.00 my dad owed from taxes in 2012. Will I have to pay for that?

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  35. Hello Lynne
    My brother and I are executors of my mothers will.I am waiting for a clearance certificate for any income tax owing the Government.There is a 25,000 dollar holdback still in her estate account.My brother does not want to pay an outstanding bill to my wife who looked after her 24/7 in our home for 11 months.This money was paid by VA to my mother for her care.There was a verbal agreement for this between my mother and myself for this money to be paid to my wife.It wasn't an easy job because she had full blown dementia.
    Thank you

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    Replies
    1. You haven't asked a question, but I'm guessing you want to know whether this bill should be paid. All debts of the estate should be paid as early as possible, and certainly before beneficiaries are paid. You said there is a holdback, which suggests there has already been an interim distribution. This makes me wonder why the debt hasn't been addressed before now.

      Is your brother saying it's not a real debt? Does he need paperwork, or a record of hours worked, or anything like that? Or is he saying the estate can't afford it because the holdback is needed for tax payment? It's a bit hard to talk about solutions when I don't know what the objection is.

      Assuming that it's a case of your brother not believing that it's a real debt and just saying an outright "no", your wife is going to have to take legal action against the estate to enforce her claim.

      Verbal contracts are binding, though of course the lack of a paper trail can make them hard to prove. Your wife could consult a lawyer to see what it would cost to pursue this. Alternatively, she could take it to small claims court herself.

      Most likely the matter will start with a demand letter against the estate, and if your brother agrees to the payment at that point, that would be the end of it. If not, it could end up in court.

      Lynne

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  36. Hi Lynne,
    Thanks for all the great advice. My spouse passed away in 2017. All estate fees and debts have been paid. The estate account shows a balance of "zero".
    We have not filed income taxes for 2015 and 2016. My spouse owes just over $4,000 each year for 2015 and 2016. We traditionally pension split. My question is:

    If I choose to pension split for these two years, does this mean I am responsible for the tax owing for my late spouse?

    If I choose not to pension split, will the tax owed by the estate be waived as the balance in the estate account is zero?
    Please advise.

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    Replies
    1. No, you won't be liable for your spouse's taxes just because you elect to split your pension. However, I'm not an accountant and I strongly advise you to bounce your question off an accountant who is versed in personal income tax.

      Lynne

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  37. My father recently passed away and has a car lease agreement in his name only. He has a few payments left on it. Is my mother responsible for paying these car payments. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks

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    Replies
    1. Assuming your mother wants to keep the car, the payments must be made. This would legally be a debt of the estate, not your mother personally, so the payments must be made from assets that had been your father's. If she doesn't want to make the payments, she can always arrange to return the car.

      Lynne

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  38. My mom does not want the car as she does not drive and the car is no good to her. So she wondered if she had to continue making payments on a car that she isn't even driving.

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    Replies
    1. In that case, she should call the dealership and see about terminating the lease.

      Lynne

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