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Thursday, August 3, 2017

The Law Show answers questions from beneficiaries: now online

The latest episode of The Law Show is online if you would like to listen. This week, our show was all about beneficiaries. We gathered a bunch of the questions we hear the most from beneficiaries and answered as many as we could fit into a one-hour show. We discussed financial matters, procedures, and emotional issues as well. Click here to see all of the episodes and choose the one you want.

The book we talked about as a good resource for beneficiaries is The Beneficiary's Answer Book, available at our office or by clicking here.


  1. Hi Lynn

    I am darting to get alittle concerned about my inheritance.

    My dad left his estate to me in 2015 December.

    I chose an executor that was his power of attorney as I am from another province.

    In August of 2016 our probate was approved.

    Every thing the estate owned has been sold.

    There was an income tax done in 2016 for the year 2015.

    Also another income tax done in 2017 for the year 2016.

    I sent an email to the executor asking him to wrap thing up back in June 2017 as everything has been sold.

    I am not sure what the procedure is for an executor after the estate has been sold.

    But what I need to know is if what he is yelling me is the truth.

    I am told that we can not do anything until we receive the 2015 and 2016 tax returns from Revenue Canada and his accountant told me that because this is an estate and final one it usually takes longer.

    Is this suposed to take so long and is it legal to file two tax returns.

    Please advise me if you think I should have a lawyer look into this. Thank you

    1. Actually, it sounds okay to me. Yes, it is fine to file two returns because they are two different years. What they are not making clear to you is that they are not waiting for tax returns, they are waiting for a tax clearance certificate. That's what the accountant is referring to when he says it's the final one and takes longer. An executor can't apply for the clearance certificate until the last tax return is done, and once he has applied for it, it will take a good 6 months. I know that seems crazy, but that really is how long it takes.

      If you go to the Canada Revenue Agency webpage you can learn quite a bit more about tax clearance certificates.

      The executor does have the choice to distribute some or most of the estate while waiting for the certificate. This is known as an interim distribution. In my experience, most of them do that just so that the beneficiaries don't have to wait so long. However it isn't something that you could force him to do without going to court.

      You could certainly consult a lawyer who could discuss this in more detail than I can, because your lawyer could look over your paperwork and ask you more questions, etc. I would think that if you hired a lawyer, he or she would look into getting an interim distribution.


  2. My husband and his sister do not get along. They are both listed on his mother's will. If my husband predeceases me, will I still be a beneficiary?

    1. Marlene, those three sentences in your question seem to be entirely unconnected. I can't even begin to answer!

      What do you mean "still be" a beneficiary? Are you one now? Of whose will - your mother in law or your husband?

      Are your husband and his sister "listed" as executors or beneficiaries? If they are beneficiaries, it doesn't matter if they get along.

      And I don't see what your husband predeceasing you has to do with anything unless you're talking about his will.


  3. If my RRSP and other investments name my son as a beneficiary, do I need to include a term in my will reiterating that I name my son as beneficiary for those accounts?

  4. No, you don't. The beneficiary designations will stand on their own.


  5. I am following your Alberta Probate Kit book and it is extremely helpful. I am the executor for my mom's will. My question is concerns the NC19. The book states that beneficiaries sign and date the document in the acknowledgement section. As there is no acknowledgement section at the bottom of the NC19 can they just sign and date it anywhere at the bottom? Also, does this NC19 copy signed by the beneficiary need to be given to the Court as well or is it just for my records? Thanks so much for your time.


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