Transmission and Transfer of Assets

Grace Cleveland
Wills & Estates

With the grant of probate or administration in hand, a personal representative is ready to begin the process of transmitting assets into the estate and ultimately distributing the cash or transferring the assets in kind on to the beneficiaries.

Transmission is the process of taking an asset out of the deceased’s name and placing it into the name of the executor in their capacity as the representative of the estate. Although this can usually be accomplished with a few signatures for most things (for example, bank and investment accounts), for real property the process is a little more complicated.

Transmission of real property in BC is done through the Land Title Office. Court certified copies of the estate grant and disclosure statement, along with copies of other relevant documentation (as the case may be) are filed with the LTO and the relevant forms. This transfer will be exempt from property transfer tax but the PTT return will still need to be submitted along with the other transmission documents.

Prior to distribution, there will be a holding period to allow specified claims to be made against the estate (for example, the 180 and 210 day periods set out in the Wills, Estates and Succession Act) prior to distribution being allowed. If notice to creditors was not provided at the outset of the probate process, it should be completed to ensure no unknown liabilities exist prior to distribution. Other steps, such as the payment of any final bills, obtaining consents, and attending to the executor’s accounting must also be completed.

Finally, the taxes will need to be dealt with as a personal representative who transfers estate assets before receiving a clearance certificate from the Canada Revenue Agency will be held personally liable for the unpaid taxes, interest, and penalties to the extent of the value of the assets that have been transferred.

Only when all of the above is complete can the funds be distributed or the assets be transferred pursuant to the terms of the will.

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This article is intended for information purposes only and should not be taken as the provision of legal advice. Grace C. Cleveland is a lawyer with the law firm of Cleveland Doan LLP and can be reached at (604)536-5002 or