Garton & Harris

Estate administration: Clearance certificates

Those who have been called to administer the estate of a deceased person should know about clearance certificates. Estate administration in British Columbia means the executor or trustee has been given the duties of making sure certain things take place like the payment of taxes, paying debts and ensuring beneficiaries receive their inheritances. A clearance certificate actually paves the way for an estate administrator to distribute the assets without personal responsibility for any accounts the deceased, trust, estate or corporation may owe to the government.

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) gives a clearance certificate in appropriate circumstances to one who legally represents the deceased person's estate. There are certain instances, however, when a clearance certificate is not needed. For instance, a certificate isn't needed when a trust or estate continues on to pay income to beneficiaries or if there are enough funds in the estate to pay anything that's owing to the CRA.

Before filing an application for a clearance certificate, the CRA should be notified that the person has died. A final tax return must also be filed. All amounts owing should be paid. 

Things associated with estate administration such as clearance certificates can be confusing and complicated. A lawyer in British Columbia can help with filing the proper forms to the proper place at the right times. The job of an executor or trustee can be time consuming and stressful. A lawyer may be able to ease the complications by helping his or her client in properly administering an estate.

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