After obtaining the proof of death, the next step for the liquidator is to perform a Will Search with both the Barreau du Quebec and the Chambre des notaires du Quebec. If a will exists, the liquidator must use the last will and probate it if is was not made by a notary.
However, if no will exists, the succession is considered intestate, meaning that the law determines who will inherit and how much. This will depend on the deceased's family situation, ie, whether the deceased has a surviving spouse (from a marriage or civil union; common-law partners are not recognized in an intestate succession), children, parents, and siblings.
In an intestate succession, the heirs are responsible for settling the succession. By majority vote, they can name a liquidator from among themselves, or an external one (such as a professional).
Assuming the succession is solvent and all debts have been paid, the succession's assets are distributed as follows.
- If the deceased's siblings were entitled to a share of the succession but died beforehand, the sibling's children (ie, the deceased's nephews and nieces) would be entitled to their parent's share
- Likewise, if the deceased had a child who died beforehand, the child's share would go to his children (ie, the deceased's grand-children)
- If the deceased had no spouse, children, siblings, or surviving parents (direct bloodlines), some more distant family such as grand-parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins will inherit