What Happens To Your Mississauga Property If You Don’t Leave A Will

Wills and Estates / June 1, 2019

Have you contacted wills and estates lawyers in Mississauga to set up a will?  If not, you should!  The legal processes for how to handle an estate without a proper will can be arduous and extremely hard on your survivors.  Worse, the property may end up being broken up and distributed in ways you would have disapproved of.

This is what happens if pass away in Mississauga, without having set up a will beforehand.

Why You Want Mississauga Wills and Estates Lawyers to Have Your Will on File

If a person passes without a will, and their property needs to be distributed, the situation is known as “intestate succession.”  As a rule, the government will attempt to distribute the property fairly among survivors, but this does not always happen.  Here in Ontario, here’s how the process works.

  1. An estate trustee is appointed to oversee the process.  This is generally a close relative or friend and requires them to apply to the courts for an appointment. If there is disagreement over this, a judge will have to hold separate hearings to decide on an appointee.
  2. The trustee must identify and catalog the estate’s finances, including all property, assets, and debts.  Likewise, they will be responsible for ensuring relevant fees and expenses are paid, including legal fees and funerary services.
  3. The assets are broken up among the family

This is where things start to get complicated.  The Ontario Succession Law Reform Act provides guidelines on who gets what, based on the assets available, and what family members are involved.  Some of the highlights include:

  • If the deceased is married and their estate assets (after debts and expenses) are less than $200,000, then their spouse receives everything.
  • If the deceased is unmarried but has children, the estate is split equally among the children.
  • If the deceased was married, with one child, the estate is split between spouse and child 50/50.  If there is more than one child, the spouse receives 1/3 and the remaining 2/3 are split equally between the children.
  • If there are no spouse or children, the order of distribution is surviving parent(s), sibling(s), blood nieces and nephews, any other next-of-kin.
  • If no next-of-kin can be located at all, the government takes the estate.

JMK Law – Wills & Estates

As you can see, this is a very burdensome process!  If you don’t have a will, please contact JMK Law for wills and estates lawyers who can help you create one.