Filing Returns for Clients Who Died Intestate
When a person dies without a will, someone must usually apply to a court to be appointed the administrator of the deceased’s estate. Typically, this is the only person the CRA will recognize as the legal representative of the estate and with whom they will communicate with respect to the preparation of the deceased’s tax returns.
However, the court process can be cumbersome and expensive if the client needs to retain a lawyer. It may also be unnecessary if the deceased was insolvent or owned all of his or her assets jointly with a surviving spouse or common-law partner. In limited situations, the CRA may therefore recognize a surviving family member as a legal representative for tax purposes. The procedures for doing this are discussed on pages 15 of the Deceased Taxpayers and Testamentary Trusts seminar.
The CRA have recently announced that the process will be formalized somewhat with the introduction of affidavits which will need to be completed before they grant a request. Because estate administration falls within provincial jurisdiction, there will be different versions of the affidavit for each of the provinces.
These affidavits were supposed to have been available on April 1, 2017 but had not been released at the time of writing.