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Mature woman balancing her books

One of your loved ones passed away and you inherited or became liquidator to an insolvent estate, meaning that the debts exceed the assets once they would be liquidated? This situation can become overwhelming and extremely complicated. At Bernier & Associates Inc., a licensed insolvency trustee in Ottawa, we can assist liquidators faced with an insolvent estate in order to make the proper decisions.

What are the options available?

If you suspect an estate that’s been left to you is insolvent, you have three options:

  • Accept the estate. If you don’t know the details of the deceased’s financial situation, accepting the estate can be a gamble. You will be required to administer and liquidate the assets. Should there be a deficiency, you are personally responsible for the debts.

  • Renounce the estate. If you choose this course of action, you won’t inherit the deceased’s debts or assets. In this case, the province will administer the estate; however this will take some time (up to several months) and meanwhile you will be receiving calls and correspondence from the creditors.

  • Bankrupt the estate. In this scenario, a trustee would take care of settling the estate in accordance with federal bankruptcy laws. If you choose this option, you won’t be liable for the debts owed to creditors. Furthermore, a licensed insolvency trustee is usually able to liquidate the estate, and should there be surplus funds these will be then release to the legal heirs.

Debts owed to co-signed or joint accounts become the sole responsibility of the remaining co-signer if the other person dies.

Don’t leave your family with an insolvent estate

It’s never too early to start thinking about what you’ll leave behind. If you’re worried that your debt is insurmountable, reach out to a bankruptcy trustee to discuss your options. A licensed insolvency trustee at Bernier & Associates can help you decide if bankruptcy is the best way to avoid leaving your family with an insolvent estate. Contact one of our 15 offices in Gatineau, Ottawa or Montreal today.


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