Assets and Liabilities Passing Through or Outside the Estate

Assets and liabilities that pass through the Estate

Assets and Liabilities Passing through the Estate are those that will be included in the net value of the estate. As a general rule, the items passing through the estate are those that were solely the deceased's property at the time of death.

Assets and liabilities that pass outside the Estate

Items that pass outside the estate, on the other hand, are items that cease to be the property of the deceased at their death, meaning there is a provision for these assets to be distributed or passed on to a surviving co-owner. For example, a life insurance policy with a named beneficiary, a registered savings account where the spouse is named as the sole beneficiary, a joint bank account, or real estate owned in joint tenancy with right of survivorship; all of these assets have a provision for ownership transfer on the death of the owner. Note that even though these assets are never administered by the estate, the executor may still need to assist with notifying the Land Registry or providing the documentation necessary to transfer ownership of an account.

How to denote whether an item passes through or outside of the estate

When adding a new inventory item, the optional field labeled "This item passes" will be available in the module. Use the dropdown list to choose whether the item passes through the estate or outside of it.

Quebec-specific information

Quebec does not recognize the right of survivorship, meaning that all assets will pass through the estate, including joint bank accounts and real estate held in co-ownership. The main exception to this rule are life insurance proceeds to a named beneficiary; in those cases, the beneficiary will be paid directly and the policy is not included in the estate's value.

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