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What if a person dies without a will?

When a deceased person has not made a will, their estate is intestate

The intestate estate does not go to the government. It goes to the family of the deceased person, but the Ontario government makes the rules about who gets the estate, and in what shares.

Who gets what depends on who is in the family.

Who is in the family depends upon whether or not the deceased person is married and who the deceased person is related to by blood.

The share a married spouse or blood relative will receive also depends upon the rules.

A lawyer can explain how the Ontario rules apply to the deceased person’s situation. The rules say who will be the deceased person’s beneficiaries. The beneficiaries then decide who will apply to the court to look after the estate as the estate trustee. 

If the court agrees with their choice, it will give a certificate of appointment of estate trustee without a will.

The estate trustee has to follow the rules when distributing the estate.

This information is provided by Goddard Gamage LLP subject to our Disclaimer.