If a spouse or family member dies without a last Will or Testament the estate is called “Intestate”.
What Happens If You Die Without a Will – Dying “Interstate”?
Without authority to administer the tax affairs of the deceased, Ontario’s Succession Law Reform Act determines how the estate will be distributed. If you die without a Will, only blood relatives, including children born outside of marriage, or legally adopted children can inherit. Half-blood relatives share equally with whole-blood relatives.
The following is an abbreviated interpretation of the Act;
- Unless someone who is financially dependent on the deceased person makes a claim, the first $200,000 is given to the spouse. Another possibility is to claim half of the net family property. Legal advice can help determine the better choice.
- If there is no spouse, then the deceased person’s children will inherit the estate. If any of them have died, that child’s descendants (deceased person’s grandchildren) will inherit the estate equally.
- If there is no spouse or children or grandchildren, the deceased person’s parents inherit the estate equally.
- If there are no surviving parents, the deceased person’s brothers and sisters inherit the estate. If any of the brothers and sisters have died, their children (deceased person’s nieces and nephews) inherit their share.
For additional rules and details see Attorney General.
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has a new form that you can complete that recognizes you as the individual that is administering the tax affairs of the deceased. RC552 – Affidavit for Intestate situation for the province of Ontario was released July 2017.
Why It Is Important to Have a Will
I believe those that die without a Will add more stress and heartache to those they leave behind. Greed and a sense of entitlement tear families apart if the wishes of the deceased have not been clearly defined. What amazes me are the families with young children that have not gotten around to getting their Will prepared. And for those that remarry and haven’t updated their Wills to include their new spouse and possibly extended family, it can be an utter nightmare.
There are numerous resources and varying prices enabling everyone to have a Will prepared. For your legacy and those you leave behind, please get yours done.
As always, I welcome your questions and feedback. Share your experiences with my readers.
Until next time,