Toronto Estate Lawyers Assisting with Dependant Support Claims
An individual drafting a will, or “testator”, are generally entitled to choose who the beneficiaries of his/her estate are going to be. The only positive responsibility they must comply with is the obligation to provide for the support of any and all dependants who rely on them.
Under Ontario’s Succession Law Reform Act, the legislation governing wills and estates in the province, a dependant seeking to enforce their rights and obtain an award can file a Dependant Support Claim. This can have a significant financial and logistical impact on an estate, and should be something trustees and executors are aware of. These claims can often be emotional, and fraught with stress. They require the careful assistance of a knowledgeable and trusted lawyer with significant experience in this area.
If you are a trustee or executor and a Dependant Support Claim has been filed against the estate you are responsible for, or if you are a dependant who has been left out of a will, the team of estate lawyers at Eisen Law in Toronto can help. We will assist you in navigating your rights and responsibilities, minimizing your risk and can expedite your claim to ensure it is resolved in a timely fashion.
Who is considered a “Dependant”?
Pursuant to Ontario legislation, testators are obligated to provide for any dependants in their will. If this is not done, a dependant can file a Dependant Support Claim to ensure they are provided for. Under the law, a “dependant” is anyone whom the deceased was providing support for, or was obligated to provide support for, and can include:
- A spouse, including a common law spouse or ex-spouse;
- A parent, including adoptive parents;
- A child, including an adult child or grandchild;
- A sibling.
What is the Process of Filing a Dependant Support Claim?
It is important to note that this is a time sensitive option: Dependant Support Claims must be filed within six (6) months after a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee is issued, unless there is permission from a court to file after that time frame.
Usually, a dependant filing a Claim must provide evidence establishing their need for support. A court will decide whether relief is warranted on a case-by-case basis, based on the dependant’s particular situation and circumstances.
If the court finds that the dependant is entitled to support, it will determine an appropriate amount based on a number of factors, including:
- The dependant’s assets at the time of the testator’s death;
- The dependant’s physical and mental health;
- The dependant’s ability to contribute to their own support;
- The precise nature of the dependant’s relationship to the testator.
Contact the Toronto estate lawyers at Eisen Law for assistance with Dependant Support Claims
At Eisen Law, our knowledgeable and experienced lawyers can help you comply with your obligations to dependants or potential dependants, or can ensure you obtain what you are owed in a will. We offer free initial consultations and will do our best to ensure you can easily access the legal advice that you need. Call us at 416-591-9997 or contact us online if you need assistance in this specific area of estate litigation.