After Death - Estates

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What happens to my estate if I die without a will?

    If you die without leaving a valid will, you have died intestate. The Intestate Succession Act says how your property will be divided among your family if you die intestate.

    If you die intestate, the court appoints an Administrator whose duties are like those of an Executor in many ways. The Administrator must take inventory of all your property, pay off all debts and obligations (including funeral fees), and then divide the rest of the estate following the rules in The Intestate Succession Act.

  • If I die without a will and have no family, what happens to my estate?

    Your estate will go to the Crown.

  • Who makes the decision about funeral arrangements?

    Legally, the personal representative (Executor or Administrator) has the authority to incur reasonable funeral expenses, including burial and a headstone, on behalf of the estate.

    It is not a good idea to include funeral instructions in a will, since in most cases the family will attend to the funeral before the will is read.

  • A family member has passed away. Are there any benefits from the Government that I can apply for?

    There are survivor benefits under the Canada Pension Plan, called surviving spouse’s pension, orphan’s benefits, and death benefits. Contact CPP for more details:

  • Does there have to be a reading of the will after the maker dies?

    In Manitoba, there is no official reading of the will that takes place after the maker dies. The Executor of the estate must make sure that the terms of the will are carried out. Often, the will is not read until after a funeral has taken place.

  • My sibling will not let me see a copy of my parent’s will. How can I get a copy?

    If the Executor has applied to court to probate the Will, you can access the Will in the court file. You could also try a written request to your sibling or the lawyer for the estate. If they will not provide you with a copy, you may have to hire a lawyer to help you.

  • How can I make sure I am notified when my sister’s will is submitted to the court for probate?

    To make sure that you receive notification when the will is filed into court you can file a caveat (Form 75A) with the Probate Division of court. The form can be obtained at the Queen’s Printer – Statutory Publications Office. A caveat remains in effect for one year but you can file a new caveat at that time.

  • My parent passed away and only left a few personal items and a car worth less than $5,000. Is there a quick process to deal with smaller estates like this?

    Yes. For estates under $10,000 there is a streamlined process available. Applications for administration orders for estates under $10,000 can be obtained at the Queen’s Printer – Statutory Publications Office.