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Dependant Support Claims

The law in Ontario provides that a person has the freedom to choose who they want to benefit from their estate after he or she dies. The exception to this is found in Part V of the Succession Law Reform Act which provides that a deceased person has an obligation to provide adequate support for his or her “dependants”. The term “dependant” in this context includes a spouse, common-law spouse, same sex partner, parent, child or sibling of the deceased to whom the deceased was either providing support or was under a legal obligation to provide support immediately before death. If a person believes he or she was not provided with adequate support from the estate of a deceased person who had an obligation to support him or her, that person can bring an application to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to request an award from the estate. A dependant support application must be commenced within six months of the granting of a certificate of appointment of estate trustee. In some cases, the application can be commenced after this six month period where the court has granted leave to do so and where there remain assets of the estate that have not yet been distributed.