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

executor trustee ontario

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

executor trustee Ontario

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

7 Qualities of a Good Executor/Trustee & Planned Estate

personal estate executor trustee Ontario

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

Personal Estate Executor Decisions – My Journey with Myrtle

personal estate executor Ontario

My journey first started with Myrtle in the late spring of 2008. Myrtle had asked her financial planner to take a look at her 2007 tax return. She couldn’t figure out why she wasn’t getting a larger refund. She always got a refund. And since she made quarterly tax installments she knew something wasn’t right. The financial planner told Myrtle he took his client’s tax returns to a professional and thought it would be a good idea if she took a look at it to see if there was an error. That someone was me.

Myrtle had done her tax returns herself every year. She typed her copy and the CRA copy – no photocopier or carbon paper was used. She was old school and when I say “old school”, Myrtle was in her 90th year of life. I took a look at her return, compared it to the Notice of Assessment she had received from the CRA and all the numbers were exact. I then went through all her paperwork which was extensive, and determined where the error was. She had forgotten to include her generous donations in her calculations that year. Read more

What is a Non-Continuing Power of Attorney?

Non Continuing Power of AttorneyThis is the time of year when many of my business customers give me what is called a  Non-Continuing Power of Attorney. These are smart business people that realize they may be delayed in returning to their businesses when on vacation or at conferences. While either the long or short delay on returning could be attributed to bad weather or health issues, they still have a business that needs to operate at the effectiveness and efficiency as if they were there. So what is a Non-Continuing Power of Attorney? Read more

Give the Gift of Safeguarding Your Legacy – 7 Things to Consider

estate and personal executors OntarioOne of the last things on the minds of anyone at this time of year is Wills and Powers of Attorney. The Holiday rush has begun and with all of the planning and events in the works, who wants to think about ticking off items on an estate planning checklist? Not many people do, but there are a few bare-bone estate planning basics that everyone could benefit from that are especially important for singles and new families that can give the gift of safeguarding your legacy. Specifically, what can you do to prepare an estate plan? Here are 7 things to consider. Read more

You Don’t Have to be Richard Branson to Have an Estate

estate planning NewmarketDid you know that you have an Estate even though you are not someone as famous as Richard Branson? Talking to our clients, we are always surprised when folks say; “oh I just have my house and a few odds and ends. I’m not rich – I don’t have an Estate and it costs too much to put a Will in place.” Did you know that the Government views anything over $1,000 as part of your estate and subject to the Estate Administrative Tax?

Read more

What is a Power of Attorney?

Power of AttorneyAccording to the Attorney General, a Power of Attorney is a legal document that gives someone else the right to act on your behalf.

Last week I was interviewed for possibly being designated as a Power of Attorney for Property and Power of Attorney for Personal Care for an individual.  While the interviewer, let’s call her Cindy, was asking intelligent questions and accessing my knowledge, skill set and personality, I was also forming the questions I needed to ask her.  It is no longer merely ‘an honour’ or an easy task to take on the massive responsibilities now associated with these positions. Read more