Recent amendment to the Ontario's Succession Law Reform Act 2021

The recent regulations to the amendment were made regarding the asset’s distribution in cases where no Will was conducted at the time of death or in other words the deceased died intestate.

Ontario’s Succession Law Reform Act sets out how the estate is distributed to the surviving relatives. Before the recent amendment, the spouse of the deceased, without a will but with children, got $200,000 and 1\3 of the remaining amount. With this change to the amendment, the surviving spouse will receive $350,000 instead of the initial $200,000 for the estates of persons who died on or after March 1st, 2021.

This amendment emphasizes even more the necessary of the Will document and certainly the MUST in some Scenarios.

What happened if someone died without the will (intestate) and is separated but not divorced yet.

A practical example of this situation: John and Tara are spouses in the process of a divorce. However, they have been separated already and Tara has engaged already in a new relationship where new children have been born. If Tara dies, John, her ex-husband, will get the first $350,000. In this case this is all her inheritance, her children are not in title to receive any money.

A divorce is an exceedingly long and challenging process. Without a proper divorce document, you and your spouse will still legally be considered married.

This means that if you die while separated your assets will still be distributed in the same manner as if you were still married. In some cases, this creates a problematic situation of the asset’s distribution as it is does not express the will of the deceased. According to the current amendment your children will end up getting a much smaller amount of inheritance as the spouse gets the first $350,000. Here is where a will comes in handy. The Will (the document) gives you an opportunity to express your well planned and actual will. This way you are the one responsible for the arrangement of your assets as far as it is Legal distribution as the Ontario’s Succession Law Reform Act only sets up the distribution in case there is no Will. You will have full control of who receives your money and how much inheritance your children will get.

In situations where there is more than one child and the estate is worth more than $350,000, the remaining amount will be shared between the legal spouse and kids. For example, an estate was worth $600,000 and the deceased died intestate. The couple also had two kids. In this case, the current spouse receives $350,000. Additionally, the spouse and each child would receive a third of the remaining $250,000. This makes the spouse’s total inheritance $433,333, and the children $83,333.

The importance of The Will

Once again, this brings in the importance of The Will. In a will you are able to arrange your money to your liking. You could make sure your kids will still be supported after your death and that they receive a portion of your assets as inheritance if this is your wish. You can divide your assets equally between your kids or in different percentage and decide when, how and at what age they will get it. In addition, you can appoint an Estate Trustee and a Guardian / Custodian for your children and decide regarding the other provisions such as beneficiaries, gifts and more.


We can help you with this, process please do not hesitate to contact us at Buzaker Law firm via “CONTACT US “ form, telephone at (905) 370-0484, or via email at

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