Being named the person responsible for probate and estate administration can be a daunting task. Being named as an executor comes with significant responsibilities as well as personal legal and financial liability. This alone is one of the reasons we suggest it’s critical to meet with an estates lawyer when tasked with these responsibilities. From time to time, the Canadian government issues updates that apply to people managing estates. We want to take a moment today to discuss some recent reminders for people managing the taxes of people who have died.

CRA asks for date of death to only be recorded on deceased’s tax return

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) stated that tax preparers sometimes include a deceased person’s date of death on the tax return of a living spouse. As a result of this, the CRA may mistakenly record the living spouse as being deceased.

Of course, such a mistake may lead to major issues, both financially and emotionally. If the CRA thinks that a living person is deceased, they will stop making all benefit payments to that person. Benefits that could be at risk include the Canada child benefit, good and service tax credit/harmonized sales tax credit, the Canada Pension Plan, and old age security.

While there is no change related to the process of recording the date of someone’s death, the CRA asked that people be extra careful in making sure a deceased person’s date of death is only recorded on their tax return.

A reminder to include Social Insurance Numbers on legal documents

The second reminder provided by the CRA is one asking for people to make sure they clearly write the deceased person’s social insurance number on both their will and their death certificate before those documents are sent to the CRA. The agency says this will allow them to ensure there are no delays in updating any appropriate records with the date of death information.

If you have been appointed as an executor to an estate, it’s recommended that you reach out to an experienced estate lawyer, such as those at Derfel Estate Law in order to receive the advice and guidance you need on all aspects of estate administration. It’s our job to make sure we stay on top of all legal developments as well as the responsibilities you may have. Call us at 416-847-3580 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.