When a person passes away intestate, or without a will, the first thing that needs to be addressed is what is included in the estate. Once everything that has been determined to be in an estate is “marshalled”, the distribution of the estate is determined by the Succession Law Reform Act. This process is determined by the legislature or the courts and NOT by the wishes of the deceased.
If you are married the act states, the first $200,000 of the estate is inherited by your married spouse. If you are common law, the common law spouse would not inherit any part of the estate.
If you are married with one child after the first $200,000 is given to the married spouse, the remainder of the estate will be split between your spouse and your child.
If you are married with more than one child after the first $200,000 is given to the married spouse, 1/3 of the assets will be given to your spouse, and the remaining 2/3 will be divided amongst your children.
If you are not married with children, the act states that the entirety of the estate will be divided equally among your children.
If you have no spouse and no children, the act states that the entirety of the estate will be passed to your parents. If no parents are living, then the entirety of the estate will be given to your siblings.
Save those you care about most the time, stress, and financial burden of passing intestate by creating a proper will today.