Is it up to you who will have custody of your children after your death? Not necessarily. In a lecture about Halachic Wills, Rabbi Moshe Taub spoke about a young Catholic woman who converted to Judaism. She did not have a will, so no one was appointed as guardian of her child. While it was natural that the maternal grandparents applied for custody, the prospect of this child being raised as a Catholic was the antithesis of what the mother wanted. What ensued was a battle to keep that Jewish child within the fold. How might this have been avoided?
The court heard evidence that the late Kerry Kelly did not believe Shauna was his daughter. Kelly believed that Shauna's mother "... cheated on me with no sex protection." The judge believed Pamela Proulx, Kelly's sister, who said that Kelly never recognized Shauna to be his biological daughter. Aunt Pamela applied to court to obtain a DNA test of Shauna and compare it to a sample of Kelly's DNA to see whether Shauna was Kelly's biological daughter. Shauna opposed the application. Let us review some of the reasons why the DNA test was worth fighting about and the legal arguments used by each side.
What rights does the family have when the deceased has no will? Ontario law has evolved both in terms of the common law and the legislation to provide a structure for the inheritance rights of legally married spouses, children and common law spouses. There is some overlap in those rights and some big differences.
Ontario has statutory provisions that detail who inherits an estate when the deceased did not have a valid Will. To access those provisions Please see Part II of the Succession Law Reform Act.