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Petition of Inheritance: Even if the public curator doesn't publish the notice of quality, prescription can begin against the heirs

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McLennan (Succession de) v. Québec (Sous-ministre du Revenu), 2008 QCCS 5439 and 2009 QCCA 1521 Mr. Aylwin helped clarify the prescription rules for successions with the public curator. These cases demonstrate that failure on the part of the public curator to publish a notice specifying that it is administrator of a succession does not have the effect of automatically suspending or interrupting the legal prescription of ten years during which the heirs may have their heirship recognized. Legal prescription begins at the time the succession opens. Failure to publish the notice can, however, be sanctioned if a causal prejudicial relation is proven. The Court of Appeal's decision acknowledges that a petition to have heirship recognized and the claiming of succession assets is less difficult than an action in damages for fault by the curator, as Mr. Aylwin pleaded.


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