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Canadian husband passed....


My beloved Canadian husband passed away a few weeks ago. He permanently lived in Belgium since +/- 16 years. He has bank accounts in Canada and Belgium and was supposed to retire in July this year.
His 2 adult children live in Canada, and had a proxy that gave them access to all his accounts there. They came to Belgium for their Dad's funeral and we saw a notary here who had them sign a proxy so that I can deal with this side of things... pretty straight forward !
Since they went back to Canada, they've been trying to figure out something there to get access to his accounts, to no avail. As soon as they found out that my husband was deceased, banks locked up and gave no more info. Now the banks are saying that the only way we can solve the problem is that I sign an authentified doc saying that I renounce everything in favor of my husband's children. The notary here still has to check, but he says that if I sign that paper, that might mean that I renounce everything in Canada, including my widow pension and other things he wanted me to get. The notary also says that he never heard of anyone being able to renounce in one country and not in the other !
Now what ? Has anyone here faced this kind of problem before and how did they solve it ? Thanks for any useful info that you could share !


Obviously I'm very sorry for you in this situation, and I'm sure that it is a very trying time.

However, there is absolutely no way on earth that the Canadian banks would ask you do do what you've suggested without a good reason.

Have you seen an actual letter or communication from the bank asking that and explaining why, or is it the children that have told you this?

Mar 10, 2018 09:33

Thanks ! I am having quite a hard time, so if I could rapidly get the paperwork over with, I could concentrate on dealing with the emotional part of the situation.
It is his son who told me that, but I'm not sure exactly where his info comes from, the Skype conversation was not good. He was going to try and get more information over there... I'm going to call again later today (they're in Alberta, so 8 hours time difference), find out and post more here.

Mar 10, 2018 10:34

@ Spoony, The paperwork can wait, you need to "concentrate on dealing with the emotional part of the situation."

Really, the admin can wait. It can take years to sort out peoples estates.

I personally would advise you to leave all the paperwork to your notaire.

It is the notaire who should be dealing directly with the bank, not you, third hand, via your spouses children (who may have very different interests to your own.)

Mar 10, 2018 15:27

I gather there was no will?
So there is no official way of knowing what he actually wanted.

Unless you are the named beneficiary of the pension or anything else, then AFAIK, Belgian law would expect everything to be divided equally between the 2 children. It may depend on the marriage contract you have as well.

Until we know who's getting what and what taxes need to be paid, I would expect all assets to be frozen. I don't think the banks will be able or willing to release anything without official documentation.

Unfortunately, this is going to take a long time. You need professional legal advice. I would pop along to the Canadian embassy and see if they know any specialist lawyer who knows the relevant Canadian and Belgian inheritance laws and can advise you properly.

Mar 10, 2018 16:17

Sorry to hear the news.
Life is very precious, so make sure you get time to grieve.
Hope your husband is resting in peace with the angels.
I suggest you contact the Canadian embassy for advice as J mentions.
In Belgium banks temporarily freeze the assets from a deceased person. I would also contact a notaris.

Mar 10, 2018 17:49

So sorry for your loss, I have a friend who lived here with her children and her hubby. He died unexpectedly and she had awful problems with banks etc. She said they accounts in UK France and here and the overseas were immediately sorted but the one here took months and months to sort out and she and he were the parents but had children under 18 when her husband died. Fortunately for her she worked so was able to open an account for herself and manage to keep paying her bills etc.
As above seek advice even if you’re fluent I French or Dutch there is masses of paperwork and I imagine you are still reeling and the amount of bureaucratic nonesense here will not help you. My fiend is fluent francophone but she got so angry and upset by the paperwork here.
Wishing you all the best.

Mar 11, 2018 12:04