Wills, Estates, Trusts Law
Claims by dependants under Part V of the Succession Law Reform Act (SLRA)
The SLRA provides a two-step definition of dependant. First, the dependant must be a spouse, parent, child, or sibling of the deceased; and second, the dependant must also be someone to “whom the deceased was providing support or was under a legal obligation to provide support immediately before his or her death.”
An application for support must be commenced within six months from the date on which the certificate of appointment of estate trustee was issued if a leave was granted from the court, but only in relation to the portion of the estate remaining undistributed as at the date of the application.
There is an automatic stay of the distribution of the estate once an application is made and notice thereof is served on the estate trustee. However, the estate trustee is allowed to “reasonable advances for support to dependants who are beneficiaries.” The estate trustee is personally liable for any wrongful distribution of the estate during the stay period.
The Court is given the widest latitude to determine the issue of support, the particular of which are highly fact specific. The Court also has direction in granting interim relief pending the final determination in related to the support issue.
Please note that the deceased’s moral duty to all of the deceased’s dependants must be taken into account in any one dependant support application, whether the other dependants (or potential dependants) are parties or not. All potential claims for dependants’ relief are activated by any one of the dependants’ application for dependant support.
If you think you have a claim under Dependant's Relief you are well advise to contact a lawyer immediately considering you only have very limited time after the death of the deceased. If you are an estate trustee and want to defend against a claim for Dependant's Relief, HTW Law can be of assistance.
Call us now at 647-849-6582 or send us a message if you have some legal questions / inquiries or want to schedule an appointment with HTW Law.