How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ulysses101 Your Own Question
Ulysses101, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 3502
Experience:  11 years experience in Canada family law, plus criminal, civil, and employment
Type Your Canada Law Question Here...
Ulysses101 is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My father died in Manitoba last summer. I live in BC. He

Customer Question

My father died in Manitoba last summer. I live in BC. He left a handwritten, unwitnessed, un-notarized will that named me, his son, as executor. He didn't have much for an estate; no money, no house... just bills. I never done this before and don't know what to do. Where to start?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Ulysses101 replied 1 year ago.

Hello Cole, thanks for the question. I'm sorry for your loss.

I can tell you generally where to start.

Firstly, talk to other relatives or children of your father, see if anybody else is interested in helping to wrap up the estate. None of you has to cover his bills, so don't worry about that. But maybe he has close friends or other family who would like to help, as a way of saying goodbye perhaps.

If there's nobody other than you, then you need to bring an action to the local probate or superior court to get an order that names you as the estate administrator/executor. The note from your father isn't exactly binding or "legal", but it's evidence of what your father wanted, and if nobody else wants to do the job then the court will make an order that you can do it. If you want, have an estate lawyer help you with this paperwork.

Once you have that order, then there's a list of stuff to get done. I assume that funeral arrangements have already been taken care of. Make a list of assets and debts, give copies of the death certificate and your court order to the banks which your father dealt with, set up an "estate account" in your name where you'll put his monies, inform his debtors, do the terminal tax return, look for insurance policies which he might have had and go from there.

It's an annoying process and can take some time, but someone has to do it, and your father wanted it to be you.

Does that help you get started? If there's more to discuss then please reply. If I've answered you then I'd appreciate a positive service rating please.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply, it was very helpful. I just have a few follow up questions:When you say: "you need to bring an action to the local probate or superior court to get an order that names you as the estate administrator/executor." how exactly is that done? Do I just go down to the city court and ask for this paperwork?My father died with virtually no money, and I'm a student and only working part time myself, so I cannot afford to hire a lawyer to help me with this...Can you offer any advice on a terminal tax return? How do I go about getting that done?And lastly, my father died with a substantial legal bill with a lawyer in Manitoba from some legal problems he was having just before he passed - how should I handle this when there's no money to pay them? Should I let them know? How?Thank you.
Expert:  Ulysses101 replied 1 year ago.

Yes, they'll give it to you. It can be complicated, but there might be a duty counsel or someone there to help you with it. Or if you're busy, see what estate lawyers/paralegals are in your area who could help for a decent cost. The estate can pay that bill, but it sounds like there isn't enough to go around as it is.

The terminal tax return is like any other tax return. Since your father has died, the executor completes the deceased's last tax return.

You should certainly let them know. When you get the court order, send them a copy of the death certificate and the order.

I'm sure that in your circumstances you could get some help and direction from the Public Guardian and Trustee's Office, check out this link:

Anything else?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Just one last question: Since my father died in Manitoba do I need to get a court order to be executor from a court in Manitoba or can I do that here in BC?
Expert:  Ulysses101 replied 1 year ago.

You'd have to do it in Manitoba, most likely at the court in the jurisdiction where he lived. It will have jurisdiction. Perhaps the Manitoba Public Guardian can help you sort that out.

Expert:  Ulysses101 replied 1 year ago.

Anything else, Cole?

Expert:  Ulysses101 replied 1 year ago.

Hello Cole, I'm wondering if there's anything else about your estate management issue that you want to discuss, since I haven't heard back.


Expert:  Ulysses101 replied 1 year ago.

Hi Cole. If we're done with your estate matter, that's fine. If we're finished, may I please have a positive service rating? That's how I get credit from the site for helping you.

If there's more to discuss then please reply. If not then I wish you luck. Don't forget to rate, please.


Related Canada Law Questions