In Ontario, a dependant of a deceased person may qualify to make an Application to a Court for support against the estate of the deceased person, where “adequate provision” has not been made. The circumstances where this is available and the tests and conditions that may apply are set out in the Succession Law Reform Act (the SLRA).
Who may qualify as dependant under the SLRA is broadly defined: it may include a spouse, a parent, child or sibling of the deceased. The success of an Application will depend upon the circumstances prior to death as between the deceased person and the dependant, for example, immediately before death the deceased person must have been providing, or under a legal and/or moral obligation to provide support to the dependant. In some cases there may be more than one dependant and various needs will have to be balanced.
The two-part test set out under the SLRA, the factors that will apply on an Application and the relationship between the SLRA and the Family Law Act can be difficult to navigate. In most circumstances professional assistance will be required to assess the facts as they related to the legal tests, as well as to determine what is considered “adequate provision”. Our lawyers understand these challenges and the sensitivity required. We can help. If an out of court solution is available, we have the experience to find it. If litigation is required, we have the team to provide efficient and cost conscious representation.