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Who must executors notify to avoid estate problems

Most British Columbia residents do not live in a vacuum. They obtain identification, purchase assets, incur debts and more. When executors begin the estate administration process, part of their duties involves notifying all relevant parties of the benefactor's death. Estate problems can arise when all parties do not receive notification, especially they have a legal right to a notice.

Some notifications seem more obvious than others. For instance, it make sense to notify creditors, landlords and next of kin. However, other parties also need notification, such as British Columbia pensions, housing, WorkSafeBC, elections and more. Executors will need to cancel items such as passports, driver's licenses and BC services cards.

Titles to real property, vehicles and other such assets will also need to be changed and/or transferred. If the deceased individual owned firearms, the RCMP Canadian Firearms Program will also require notification. Executors will also need to cancel utilities, bank accounts and investment accounts. It would also be a good idea to notify the credit bureaus as well.

The above are not the only agencies, companies or individuals who will need notification of a death depending on what the person did and how he or she lived during life. Missing someone could result in delays in the probate proceedings and possibly even litigation. Obviously, this could substantially complicate matters.

Unless the person making the notifications knows everything about the deceased person, it will most likely take some research into the decedent's life in order to make sure everyone receive the required notice. Even then, an executor may not know what to look for. Working with a lawyer experienced in probate and estate litigation could help executors avoid costly and time-consuming problems as they work through the process.

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