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Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 100373
Experience:  Lawyer
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I am legally married to the deceased, which we were not

Customer Question

I am legally married to the deceased, which we were not living together for the past 4 years. We have a 12 year old son which he is the biological father. There is a will in which I am the executor. My husband has been missing in action for the past four years with no known address and or any information of what he may have been up to. He ended up in the hospital at which time we found out he was on social assistance( Alberta Works )and came with no personal belongings, or any information on where he was living besides from aquaintance to aquaintance. I dont know where to start and or if I should be resigning from the executor position as there are so many unknown and seems know one knows the answers
1. Does the will have to be pro bated if i want to find out if he had a bank account or want access to it. (And how could I even find this out)
2. Am I required to post anything in local newspapers that he passed and ask for any creditors to contact me.
3. What am I financially responsible for if I did not sign anything after he left and we had nothing left in both our names. ie house, vehicles, credit cards, bank accounts ( only credit card and bank account that was joint was cancelled when he left)
4. How do I know what his estate is if there are 4 years missing of his life - how do I find this out
5. What if I and all his family walk away from the estate - who deals with Revenue Canada and or anything else that needs to be done.
6. Am I legally responsible for any of it because we are legally married.
7. If I apply for child benefit with CPP and survivor benefits is there going to be a hang up because the estate has not been cleaned up.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

Aside from a potential bank account do you have any reason to believe there are any assets in his name alone?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Only one thing we found was a vehicle that had two liens against it and it was just picked up by the first lien holder
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
otherwise I have no idea but I would assume not since he was on social assistance
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
do i need to keep asking questions or do you just keep on chat with me?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can you help with the other questions?
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

I am sorry. I lost the Internet for a while.

If there are no assets at all then there is no reason to probate a Will.The only reason to do that is to deal with assets.

An executor is never personally liable for any debts. Only the estate is.

CPP Benefits have nothing at all to do with the estate.

So you can apply and should do so at once.

If you are not probating the Will there is nothing you have to do with respect to the CRA or any creditors. And that makes sense since there are not assets to use to pay any debts in any event.

So given these facts it makes sense to do nothing at all with respect to the estate and simply deal with CPP and that is all.

Let me know if you need any further clarification.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
As a executor I am sure that I have to do CRA as I am responsible for the taxes. Not financially but legally
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
if I was to apply for CPP death benefit how do I deal with a cheque that comes to the estate of someone
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Do I have to get my name re moved from executor?
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

You do not have to deal with the CRA. You are not accepting the role as executor. There is no estate and the Will is not going to be probated. That means the court has not recognized you as the executor. You do not have to take any steps to do anything. You can tell the CRA or any creditors, if you wish, that there is no estate and there is no will to be probated. That is the legally appropriate response to take when there are no assets in the estate. This is not your responsibility.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
his wallet was found and there are supposedly two bank accounts that he has debit cards for. Can I go with will and statements of death and see if there is anything in them and close the accounts?
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

It is possible that that will work. You have to speak to the bank. Usually the banks do not require probate of the will when the amounts in the bank accounts are very small.

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