Heather and Chaim never believed in marriage. They lived together for 20 years, had 3 children and were happy. Chaim was hit by a truck and dies. He had no Will. Had Heather been legally married she could have: had the right to elect for an equalization payment under the Family Law Act1; or received an inheritance by virtue of an intestacy under the Succession Law Reform Act2. Since there was no Will, Heather would have inherited a preferential share of the estate equal to $200,000 and 1/3 of the balance to share with the Chaim’s three children.Read More
In Ontario Canada there a substantial difference to the rights of a common law spouse as opposed to legally married spouse. While those who entered a legal union have property rights under both the Family Law Act and Succession Law Reform Act, common law spouses are limited to seeking financial support upon the demise of their spouse. In the context of estate litigation litigation often arises in the context of whether a party is a common law spouse and the quantum of support.