Many people don’t pay heed to the idea of estate planning in their life which creates absolute chaos among the beneficiaries after their demise. Estate Planning has always been effective in sorting out the disputes of transfer and distribution of assets. The major goal of an estate plan is to make sure that the beneficiaries and heirs receive assets and finances with maximum tax exemptions.
But What If You Died Intestate? What If Haven’t Left A Will For Your Loved Ones?
This blog post is going to highlight the distribution mechanism of assets in Ontario if one dies without a will.
The principal piece of legislation that deals with the matter of intestacy in Ontario is Succession Law Reform Act (“SLRA”). Different provinces in Canada have separate distribution schemes for the deceased’s assets.
Distribution Mechanism In Ontario If One Dies Intestate
If we talk about Ontario, if a person dies without a Will then as per the SLRA, the following distribution method is considered:
- The entire estate will pass on to your surviving spouse, only if there are no children.
- According to Ontario’s Family Law Act, if a deceased person had a spouse and children, the spouse is entitled to a preferential share of the estate. The preferential share is currently set at $350,000. This means that the spouse has a right to receive the first $350,000 from the estate before any distribution occurs.After the preferential share is allocated to the spouse, the remaining estate is divided between the spouse and the children. The division is determined based on the specific circumstances and can vary. Typically, the spouse and children would share the remainder of the estate, but the exact distribution would depend on factors such as the value of the estate and the number of children.. Previously, this surviving spouse’s share used to be $200,000 until the March of 2021.
Additionally, before comprehending the preferential share of a spouse, it is important to look at the definition of spouse under the SRLA.
- For the provinces in Quebec, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Ontario, and Yukon; you and your partner will be considered “spouses” only if both of you are married to each other.
- For the provinces in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and British Columbia; individuals living in a common law relationship are also considered spouses along with married couples. Nunavut also falls under this category.
It is pertinent to note that a common-law spouse in Ontario will not be entitled to a portion of the estate upon an intestacy, he or she may still have other remedies at his or her disposal to assert a claim against the estate.
However, unlike what the intestacy norms guarantee, these remedies are discretionary and not automatically guaranteed rights. Instead, the surviving spouse will have to file a costly and uncertain court application to enforce his or her rights.
Our Estate Lawyers Can Guide You!
Estate Planning is not legally necessary but a well-established estate plan can inevitably fade away a great deal of fuss. There are countless factors to contemplate having an estate plan, therefore, if you require assistance with your estate planning strategy, you can get in touch with the attorneys at Ayaz Mehdi Professional Corporation.
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