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Wills in Quebec : how to probate ?

We understand the importance of estate planning and ensuring your wishes are protected. Whether you're a resident or a foreigner with assets in Quebec, knowing your rights when it comes to wills is crucially important.


Foreign Wills


Can a will probated outside of Canada be validated within Quebec?


In Quebec, holograph (handwritten) wills and wills made in the presence of witnesses must be probated by either a court or a notary. Only notarial wills don’t have to be probated. Even a foreign will probated must go through homologation (approval of an act by a judicial authority) again.


A foreign will is generally recognized as a valid will and admissible to probate if, at the time the will was made it complied with one of the requirements for a valid will under the law: (3109 CCQ)


· where the will was made.

· where the testator was domiciled.

· where the testator had their habitual residence.

· where the testator was a national.


What is the procedure for validating a foreign will in Quebec?


In Quebec, the preferred procedure regarding recognition of foreign wills begins with:


1. Probating the will in the foreign state

2. Recognizing that will in Quebec through the homologation system by the court.


The foreign will is only recognized if it is recognized by a court in Quebec. Usually done by a notary (Article 312 CCP), he files a copy of the application and a copy of the notice with the court office to secure public notice and enable any person wishing to do so to make representations to the court clerk or to the notary. (Article 313 CCP).


A person may designate the law applicable to his succession. It can either be the law in the state of his nationality, the law in the state he resided before his death or the law of the place where the immovable object is located.


Quebec Wills


What is the procedure to probate a will in Canada?


Probate by a notary:

A notary may probate the will, on the condition that (Article 312 CCP):


· it was not filed with the notary’s firm.

· the notary does not work and has not worked at the office at which the will was filed.


Probate by a court:

An application to have a will probated will need to be filled. It can be found on the government’s website.


If the application for probate is filed with the Superior Court, the applicant must select one of the following judicial districts, depending on the situation:


· if the deceased lived in Québec, the courthouse of the latest deceased’s place of residence.


· if the deceased did not live in Québec, the judicial district:


· of the place where the property is located.

· of the place of death.

· of the place at which the defendant is domiciled.


You must pay a fee to have the will probated.


Documents required for probate.


The application for probate must be accompanied by the following documents:

  • the original will.

  • the copy of the act of death issued by the registrar of civil status.

  • an affidavit:

  1. from one of the witnesses, in the case of a will made before witnesses.

  2. from a person who recognizes the deceased’s signature and writing, in the case of a holograph will.

  • proof that the notice to successors was sent (by bailiff, registered mail, or certified mail).


Boavista Legal Services is here to simplify the probate process in Quebec, especially when dealing with wills from foreign states. Our expertise and guidance will ensure a seamless validation of the will, eliminating any confusion or uncertainty along the way. Trust us to handle all aspects of the procedure and provide you with the peace of mind you deserve.


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