what if you die without a will in Ontario - Dying Interstate

What Happens If You Die Without a Will in Ontario? “Intestate”

what if you die without a will in Ontario - Dying Interstate

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;

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. If there is no spouse or children or grandchildren, the deceased person’s parents inherit the estate equally.
  4. 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,


power of attorney ontario family disputes

Power of Attorney – Family Disputes

power of attorney ontario family disputes

We all know that death and taxes are inevitable.  But how many of us think about family and their assumed sense of entitlement when these inevitable items cross paths?  Specifically when trying to get things done in the position of Power of Attorney for a family member.

I have a client that quit his professional career to care for his ailing parents. He then became the sole emotional and physical support person for his mother after the death of his father.  The mother died about a year ago, and there was a Will. Read more

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3 Points to Include in a Will

Over the holidays a gentleman contacted me about the Executor/Trustee services I offer.  He had recently been responsible for the estate of 2 friends, both male and in their early 50s, who had suddenly died.  He decided he needed to “get his things in order” and wanted to know how it worked if he appointed me.

I told him it wasn’t a matter of simply having his lawyer put my name in his Will as the Executor/Trustee.  There were 3 additional points that had to be included when an Executor/Trustee is appointed, and that I had to meet with him. Even though being an Executor/Trustee is a job, it is personal in nature, and important for me to understand the wishes of those who have appointed me. Here are the 3 additional points that must be included in all Wills where I am appointed the Executor/Trustee; Read more

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5 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Estate Trustee/Executors

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In the past month I’ve received numerous calls and emails about Estate Trustees and Executors asking pretty much the same questions. I thought I would compile a list of those questions, with answers, to help determine if my services are a fit with your needs. Any reference to courts and law are based on those in the Province of Ontario. Read more

Ontario Estate Information Return 90 Day Deadline – Who’s Aware?

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I recently received a call from a lady that is handling her father’s estate. She is the Trustee and along with everything else, was responsible for selling his home. On his death she went to her lawyer, filed the appropriate paperwork, paid the Estate Administration Tax (EAT, previously probate) and request for Certificate of Appointment. When the house was sold she went back to the same lawyer to finalize the sale and the lawyer asked her if she had filed the Estate Information Return as the 90 days was almost up? 90 day deadline – who’s aware of this? Certainly not the lady who contacted me! Read more

Estate Information Return for Estate Executors/Trustees – Part 2

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Following on my previous blog post on this subject, I really hadn’t expected that a Part 2 would be required in explaining the Estate Information Return, and what other issues might surface. But there is much more for you to know if you’re taking on the responsibility as Executor/Trustee (E/T). Read more

Ontario Executors/Trustees – The New Estate Information Return

Executor Trustee Ontario

Are you an estate executor or trustee in Ontario? Here’s what you need to know, now! Effective January 1, 2015 Ontario Executors/Trustees (E/T) who applied for Probate, now called Estate Administration Tax (EAT) must also file the new Estate Information Return within 90 days of receiving the Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee.

Previously an E/T only had to estimate the total value of the estate, and provide a sworn affidavit. No supporting documentation was required. The administration of the fee was handled by the Ministry of the Attorney General. That responsibility and collection has now been transferred to the Ministry of Revenue/Finance. This is the department that used to collect Ontario’s PST. The government believes under the old system asset values were conservatively estimated, significantly underestimated or not considered at all. Read more

7 Qualities of a Good Executor/Trustee & Planned Estate

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Whether you are an Executor/Trustee (E/T) or looking to ask someone to take on the responsibility for your Estate, the personal qualities necessary for both are very similar. When a potential customer asks me if I would consider being their E/T, I interview them just as they have interviewed me. So here is an abbreviated list of what I consider to be the 7 qualities of an ideal customer and an ideal E/T. Read more

Patience Required When Acting as Estate Executor/Trustee (E/T)

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I am currently acting as the Estate Executor for a widower. Almost all of his substantial estate was kept in investments in the four major banks and one securities investment company. There are numerous lists indicating the qualities that a good E/T should have, and I’ve even written a few of them. But one of the key qualities that is now noticeably missing from the lists is patience! Every good and effective E/T must possess a great deal of patience. Read more

Power of Attorney – Rising Incidence of Elder Abuse

POA for Personal Care

Almost weekly I come across an article or presentation about the rising incidence of Elder Abuse in our society. Police forces have programs to educate the public. Senior’s organizations and advocacy groups are becoming more vocal in helping to identify the warning signs and offering support. If you’ve given a relative or friend Power of Attorney (POA) for Personal Care or Property could you also be giving power to potential abusers? Or if you are the person with the responsibility of a POA do you understand your responsibilities and expectations, or could someone interpret what you’re doing as abusive? Read more