FAQ - Estates

When a SOCAN songwriter or composer dies, his or her estate is still entitled to collect performance royalties for the deceased's repertoire.

For the most part, in Canada, a writer's estate may only collect royalties for performances of his or her repertoire until 50 years after the date of the writer’s death on individually authored songs, or until 50 years after the death of the last surviving writer on any jointly authored works.

Upon the death of a SOCAN member, an estate account can be set up to ensure that royalties earned are still payable to the proper recipient. Before royalties can be paid to a member's family, successor or heirs, SOCAN requires some important information.

A. Estates With A Will

What Does SOCAN Need?

1. Estate with a Will that Names an Executor

(a) all provinces/territories except Quebec

  • a copy of the Death Certificate;
  • a copy of the Grant of Letters Probate with an annexed copy of the Will (in Ontario, a Grant of Letters Probate is called a "Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee with a Will"; in some other provinces, it is referred to as a "Grant of Probate"); and
  • a SIN for each of the beneficiaries as well as address, telephone number and email address for each.

If there is no Grant of Letters Probate, then SOCAN requires notarized copies of the Will and Death Certificate.

(b) Quebec

  • a copy of the Death Certificate;
  • a notarized copy of the Will or Letters of Verification with an annexed copy of the Will; and
  • a SIN for each of the beneficiaries, as well as address, telephone number and email address for each.

2. Estate with a Will that Does Not Name an Executor

  • a copy of the Death Certificate;
  • a copy of Letters of Administration With Will Annexed (in Ontario, it is called a "Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee with a Will"); and
  • a SIN for each of the beneficiaries, as well as address, telephone number and email address for each.

3. If SOCAN does not receive any of the required documents, then please contact us at 1-866-307-6226.

 

B. Estates Without A Will

What Does SOCAN Need?

1. Estate without a Will

(a) all provinces/territories except Quebec

  • a copy of the Death Certificate;
  • a copy of the Letters of Administration Without a Will (in Ontario, Letters of Administration Without a Will is called a "Certificate of Estate Trustee Without a Will"); and
  • a SIN for each of the beneficiaries, as well as address, telephone number and email address for each.

(b) Quebec

  • a copy of the Death Certificate;
  • a copy of Letters of Verification; and
  • a SIN for each of the beneficiaries, as well as address, telephone number and email address for each.

2. If SOCAN does not receive any of the required documents, then please contact us at 1-866-307-6226.

C. FAQs

What is an Executor?

An executor is the person(s) named in a will to handle the property of the deceased on death. An executor handles this property until all debts and taxes have been paid at which time the executor will transfer the remainder of the property to the beneficiaries named in the will.

What is a Beneficiary?

A beneficiary is the person or legal entity who is entitled to receive money, property or other benefits from the deceased.

What is Letters Probate?

Although it is the will that gives an executor the legal title to the assets of an estate, a Grant of Letters Probate is the authentic evidence of an executor’s authority to deal with assets of the estate.

If you are unsure about your situation please contact the SOCAN Information Centre at 1-866-307-6226.