If you die without a valid will, your estate will be distributed according to provincial laws.
Having an up-to-date will is essential to ensuring your estate is distributed as you intend it, and that your death doesn't create a legal and administrative burden to your family.
If you die without a will, a court will appoint someone to administer your estate and distribute the assets according to a formula set out in provincial estate and family laws.
Four disadvantages of dying without will
- The person looking after your estate may not be the one you would have chosen to handle your affairs.
- The provincial distribution formula may not reflect your wishes.
- Your estate may have to pay higher taxes.
- The process of settling your estate will likely be more costly and time consuming.
No will? Here’s how your estate will be divided
For example, in Ontario, if you die without a will and have a spouse and 2 children, your spouse will receive $200,000 plus one-third of the value of the estate over $200,000. Your children will each receive one-third of the value of the estate over $200,000.
So if your estate is worth $500,000, your spouse will receive $300,000 and each child will receive $100,000.
Content in this section is provided in partnership with Investor Education Fund, a non-profit organization founded and supported by the Ontario Securities Commission that provides unbiased and independent financial tools to help Canadians make better money decisions. To find out more, go to: GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca