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Legal Ease
Legal Ease, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
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Experience:  Lawyer
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I live in Calgary, my 95 yr old Dad passed away 12 Mar16

Customer Question

Hello, I live in Calgary, my 95 yr old Dad passed away 12 Mar16 after approx. 8 hrs in hospital.
My niece (40 yrs old) in Toronto raised by Dad residing in Everett has taken care of Dads
finances as he had dimensia for many years 7-10. There was no will. Dad came to Canada in early 80s already in his 60s. My Niece had power of attorney. My Dad was Jewish and I honoured his wish to be buried with my mother ( deceased 1984) here in Calgary with traditional preparation and body and casket transported to Calgary. My Dad lived in a Nursing home subsidized by government. We'd thought there was some funds in Dads account to help pay for almost 10K in his funeral expenses. Other than his nursing home, he did not have many expenses. The niece advised there is about $1000 in Dads account and is refusing to send any funds until April 1.16. Niece advised I'm executor although nowhere on paper. I accept the responsibility, but niece indicated that the cheques for his CPP were going directly into a joint personal account. She is now uncooperative and unresponsive. I will need his records, there will be income taxes (probably not too much,but still a return and possible payment would be due next year. My hands are tied. The niece and I were very close until this. What are my rights to information? I don't know how much he received on a monthly basis or had to pay to the nursing home. There is apparently a refund coming to the niece in the name of my Dads' estate (he had nothing, no investments to the best of my knowledge, no assets except for this $1000 which may not be there on April 1, it's unfortunate, but I want my Dads affairs handled properly. Help please
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 8 months ago.

I am sorry for your loss and for this difficult situation.

Your niece is not the executor as there is no Will and if anyone applied to the court to administer the estate it would be you as only a spouse or child would inherit and not a niece.

But it sounds like she may want to keep the money that is not hers to keep and you need it to pay the funeral expenses which come first, even ahead of taxes.

So it may make sense for you to pay a lawyer to send her a letter demanding that she forward all funds she has that are your father's as well as a full accounting for the funds that she took care of and, if necessary the lawyer can threaten a lawsuit.

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