Dependant’s Relief Claims

Sometimes, a person dies without properly providing for his or her dependants – either by failing to make a will at all, or by leaving a will that inadequately provides for someone dependant on the deceased.  Although a testator (ie. a person making a will) is generally free to decide how to dispose of his or her assets, Ontario’s Succession Law Reform Act provides certain limitations on that testamentary freedom.  This legislation allows a dependant who has not been provided with proper support by the deceased to apply to court for dependant’s relief.  Dependant’s relief applications can be challenging in a number of different ways.  Special limitation periods are involved, and certain types of assets which would normally pass outside of an estate can be clawed back in to satisfy a support order.  The lawyers at de VRIES LITIGATION have extensive experience with dependant’s relief applications, having represented both claimants who have not been adequately provided for, as well as estate trustees facing a dependant’s relief claim against an estate.