Dependant’s Relief in Ontario

In Ontario, the Succession Law Reform Act governs the rights of beneficiaries to receive support and other benefits upon the passing of their loved one(s). When the dependants of a deceased individual believe they have been inadequately provided for – they may be eligible to apply to the Court for support as outlined in the Succession Law Reform Act. At Blackburn Lawyers – our Richmond Hill estate litigation lawyers have assisted numerous families and dependants with legal advice and representation on obtaining dependant’s relief following the passing of a loved one. For more information on how our Richmond Hill estate litigation lawyers can help – contact our law firm by dialing 905-884-8242 for a consultation or by filling out our online contact form.

How is a “Dependant” defined in the Succession Law Reform Act?

In the Succession Law Reform Act – a dependant is defined as a spouse, parent, child or sibling of the deceased. The deceased in this case must have been providing support or was under legal obligation to provide support immediately prior to their passing. There is also an expanded definition on dependants. For example for the definition of “spouse” does not necessarily mean just married spouses – but also refers to people who were married to each other previously (or in some cases a nullified marriage) or were not legally married but cohabitated with each other for a period of not less than three years. Furthermore, a spouse may also refer to people who were in a form of a continuous relationship if they were natural or adopted parents of a child for example. The definition of a “child” may also be extended to include grandchildren or a child where the deceased demonstrated an intention to treat a child as a child of his or her family. With regards to parents, the Succession Law Reform Act also defines parents as grandparents or a person who has demonstrated intent to treat the deceased as a child of his or her family in most cases. There are other situations where you may meet the test as to whether you qualify as a dependant which are not outlined here. An estate litigation lawyer can provide further clarity on whether or not you are classified as a “dependant” as per the Succession Law Reform Act.

Commencing an Application for Dependant’s Relief

The first step to commencing an application for dependant’s relief begins with drafting a Notice of Application as per the Rules of Civil Procedure which will outline the relief sought, supporting claims for the relief including any statutory provisions or rules as well as evidence supporting your claims. There will also be affidavits required to accompany your Notice of Claim in addition to other documents and details – and this is something your estate litigation lawyer can assist with to ensure it is filed properly. Once all the documents are in order – the respective parties will need to be served with the relevant documents. Eventually, you will also be required to attend court, exchange pleadings and deliver responding materials. In some cases there will be cross-examinations and examinations for discovery required or mediations. Sometimes we’ve seen cases where attendance for pre-trial conference is required prior to a trial taking place. Only after this will settlements be reached (if you’re eligible). For someone with no legal experience – this process can be quite daunting, and we strongly encourage you to seek legal counsel from estate litigation lawyers for court proceedings with respect to dependant’s relief claims in Ontario.

Book a consultation with our Richmond Hill estate litigation lawyers now

There are strict timelines that dependants and families must follow in order to file a dependant’s relief claim. An estate litigation lawyer from our Richmond Hill law firm will be pleased to speak with you regarding your potential claim and whether you may be eligible for additional relief or benefits.

Contact our law firm today to speak directly with a member of our legal team.

Disclaimer: Please note the contents contained in this article is no way intended to act as legal advice and instead is intended to act as a general overview on a legal matter. Please consult with a lawyer regarding your estate dispute matter for specific legal advice on your specific situation.