Who should be appointed as liquidator and what is their role?

The liquidator may, as a precautionary measure, enlist the services of a notary for advice from the beginning of the liquidation of the succession.

The person designated as liquidator (formerly called an “executor”) is usually a trusted relative or friend of the testator. The heirs will make this choice themselves if the deceased did not leave a will or if the will does not provide for it.

The liquidator’s powers and duties

The powers and duties of the liquidator are provided for by law. The testator may nevertheless modify them to achieve specific objectives or to facilitate the liquidation of the succession and the liquidator’s work.

The liquidator is responsible for ensuring that the deceased’s wishes are carried out in full. The law sets out rules and specific procedures for the fulfilment of the liquidator’s obligations: making an inventory of the deceased’s property, paying debts, distributing property, etc.

Several important tax steps must also be taken, such as filing the deceased’s tax returns, making tax choices whose consequences may be beneficial to the heirs, obtaining certificates authorizing the release of property, etc.


A succession’s liquidation is often a daunting task. Liability can also be incurred if an heir, legatee or creditor claims to be prejudiced by the liquidator’s’ failure to meet their obligations.

An advisor

Since the liquidation of a succession is a complex exercise, the appointed liquidator may entrust a notary with the mandate to undertake it. The notary will report to the liquidator regularly.