Need help with “No Will”

My sister passed away with no will, she always said she wanted me to be her Executor, yet no will. She was in debt close to $18,000, and all she owned was her vehicle, maybe would get $7000.00 for it, on top of debt $10,000 is still owed to my mother’s estate (passed after her) for her funeral. As there is nobody to take care of anything it is left to me. I paid for a pkg from Queen if Courts Bench to get the paperwork going, but it is so confusing I don’t know where to start, I’m thinking maybe I should call a lawyer even though there is no money in the estate. Thoughts and recommendations would be sincerely appreciated.



46 Responses

  1. Linda Paul Linda Paul says:

    Consult with the Public trustee of Alberta. They will help you out.

  2. Jen Pratt Jen Pratt says:

    If your name is not on the debt, you aren’t responsible for it. Don’t allow yourself to be bullied.

  3. I looked some stuff up and found a checklist that looks pretty sound for this purpose. This one is for Nova Scotia, but should be pretty close to what you will need to do.

  4. Let a Lawyer probate the will….you will be happy you did. Trust me.

  5. You will likely have to send them her certificate of death (I’m so sorry) but they will wrote off the debt, you dont need to pay it

  6. Contact Edmonton Community Legal Centre. They help low income people who can’t afford a layer. 780-702-1725

  7. I would get the lawyer to be the executor so you are not left holding the bag and having to pay the debts. Be very, very careful. Please talk to a lawyer.

  8. Yes get a lawyer. CRA will also need to be notified. A taxation certificate will be issued once thats clear.

    No will and you are not the Executor. Let a lawyer handle it. Its an emotional, stressful and a long drawn out, time consuming process. It took 6 months to get through the courts.

    My loved one died with a will. There wasn’t much left by the time the funeral way paid for. Because we had an idiot contest it, we had to get a lawyer to protect the Executor from liability. Accounts were frozen and put in a trust. An accounting of assets was done It went to Probate. The estate ( funds) was dispersed to beneficiaries after creditors were paid..

    When there is no will, probate is frequently required to determine the deceased owner’s probate assets, assess their value and distribute them to creditors and heirs.

  9. Debbie Venne Debbie Venne says:

    Leroy Hiller is a great lawyer to discuss the issue just to make sure everything is dealt with properly. He is reasonable and a great person to deal with.

  10. Aimee Robb Aimee Robb says:

    Get the car transferred to your name. Sell the car. Use it to pay the lawyer to deal with it all!

  11. Ruth Wadley Ruth Wadley says:

    We can help you with this process at Edmonton Notary Services 780-474-3485, we’ll be open on Tuesday at 10:30am. You need to apply for A Grant of Administration. Our fees are very reasonable, please call or come in.

  12. When my mom passed she owed on a visa, the bank tried to go after the family mainly my sister who looked after most of my moms affairs. Once my sister told them there was nothing in the estate in the form of money or assets they eventually wrote the debt off. You can’t get blood from a stone, therefore you can’t get money from a loved one who has passed. Also in regards to her car, see if she had insurance on it that covered the remaining balance owed if she passed. If she did, the insurance company may be able to transfer ownership to you otherwise you will have to most likely get a lawyer involved, when my husband passed his car was in his name only and the insurance paid it off completely but I was told that I needed a lawyer to transfer ownership to me, but I later found out that the insurance company may have been able to do it for me automatically and he had no will because it was very quick and unexpected.

  13. Agnes Brady Agnes Brady says:

    Contact the Public Trustees office @ 780.427.2744 and they will guide you through the process.

    • I think you should first contact the public trustee which is the government agency that handles these matters when people die and have no relatives or can not do it. At the very least they can advise and possibly even help you for free.

  14. If there is no money in the estate tell all credit companies to take a hike. Zero money in the estate means zero money to collect. My daughter passed away May 2016 and it took almost 2 years to have it settled. It will get frustrating call after call but stay focused and they will write off the debt. You will need the death certificate to take to each bank. Also you should check if she carried any insurances on credit companies.

  15. You do not have to pay a deceased ones debt. WS told this by a lawyer

  16. Faye Flatt Faye Flatt says:

    When someone dies intestate (without a will) legislation determines what happens to the estate (Wills and Succession Act). You could apply to the Court to be the Estate Trustee but that is not a simple process and could end up with you bearing responsibility for the debts. Estates work is not something that would qualify for Legal Aid (legal work for no fee) but The Law Society offers a lawyer referral service free of charge and many of the lawyers offer a free half hour consultation. Here is link to website you can use if you choose… good luck

  17. Mj Mank Mj Mank says:

    Call lawyer referral service 1-7806611095 press*then press zero tell the operator what city and for wills. You will be given three lawyers name up to 1/2 hour free from each of them. Go from there. Good luck.

  18. Something to consider is income tax. Get a lawyer.

  19. Sue Topps Sue Topps says:

    No payments required, just go to the bank she deals at…tell them you cannot pay. No worries, you should not need a lawyer.

  20. I would call a lawyer. Do not sign anything, don’t take free advice.

  21. Jodi Flatt Jodi Flatt says:

    Get a lawyer. This is a long and difficult process. It can be frustrating and confusing, so having a lawyer who can help you navigate this will be worth every cent.
    Condolences to you.

  22. Dana McVey Dana McVey says:

    Do not assume any of her debt. When my Mom passed away in a nursing home they tried to make me pay for the next month even when she passed before the month end. I did not sign any of the papers they wanted me to when she went into the nursing home saying I would pay if she could not. Since she had no will it probably would be best to get information from a lawyer. You don’t have to pay too much if you don’t use them for all the forms. Most I’m sure you can fill out the basics and when you have questions write them down then go to a lawyer.

  23. Get a lawyer. It’s worth the couple hundred to help settle everything for you. My mom passed unexpectedly and had no will. You are not able to do anything like banking, cancelling etc without having a will stating you’re the executor unless you have a lawyer that can assist you. It will make everything so much easier and less stressful.

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  25. You need to get the information from a lawyer. You need to get a Grant of Administration in order to deal with her estate. You can’t receive the death payment from the government or sell her car without it. There is an order in which creditors are paid and you need legal advice about this. It’s complicated.

  26. you are not responsible for those debts. You will however be obligated to sell any assets to cover those debts. On both counts. Those debts die with the person…….they are not transferred to you as a burden. Even a student from a legal assistant course could help explain this to you. If all you can do is sell something to cover part of the debt, then whoever it is owed to has to suck up the loss. There is a formula, if I recall correctly, for dispersing any money to cover debts. Basically, you get legal executorship, sell assets, settle debts and pass it before a judge to finalize the details….if I recall correctly. After a judge signs off, it becomes null and void on all remaining debt. Go to the library and do some research.
    I wish I recalled better but it has been 11 years since I took that course and I am not working as a legal assistant now.

  27. You can get a free first 30 minute lawyer consultation using this service:

  28. I would get a lawyer to help and advise you.

  29. John Green John Green says:

    My condolences on your loss.

  30. John Green John Green says:

    Send a copy of the death certificate to each known creditor and those creditor’s will most likely “write off” the amounts owed. If there is one big one that doesn’t give up that is when you might need to petition the court so that you are appointed “administrator” over the estate rather than a creditor trying to grab that authority. The only other reason to seek court appointed estate “Administrator” status is if property ownership needs to be re-registered for some reason. This is not my area of expertise for work. I have just had to do it a few times.

  31. No estate no payments. Everyone eats their losses

  32. Rye Weskey Rye Weskey says:

    Tell them to go after the people who signed the loans, not your problem.

  33. Do not admit to any debit or pay anything towards it, not one penny. If it’s in her name they can’t do anything but guilt you. The car is the only asset and that’s the only money. Everything else will be wiped.

    sorry for your loss.

  34. Tannis Fong Tannis Fong says:

    The lawyer will be paid out of any remaining assets, before anything or anyone else. Likely the lawyer can have her estate declared bankrupt or something.

  35. You are not required to pay off their debt!! It is not your debt. They will try to bully you to get money but legally you are not responsible. All you need to do is show them the death certificate and it will all be erased.

  36. You’ll probably need a lawyer.

    If there’s no money in the estate and the debt is in only your sisters name, they can’t collect it.

    You’ll probably have to prove there is no money, so go talk to a lawyer.

  37. Nicole Kent maybe able to help you

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