Dependant Support and Relief

Sometimes someone dies and does not leave adequate support for their dependants. The law acknowledges that there is a moral obligation for the needs of dependants, including children, parents and spouse to be given adequate support.


Dependant Support and Relief

Who is a dependant?

Part V of Succession Law Reform Act (“SLRA) discusses the support of dependants and s.57 outlines a two-part test as to who meets the test of being a “dependant.”

A dependant is defined as the parent, child, spouse or sibling of the deceased, to whom the deceased had been providing support immediately before his death or was legally bound to provide support.

The term ‘spouse’ mentioned in the act includes a married spouse and also a common law spouse whom the deceased had cohabited for at least three years or if there was some relationship of permanence with that person if natural or adoptive parents of a child.

The term ‘support’ means financial, physical as well as moral support that the deceased person had been providing to the dependants immediately before his death or was legally obliged to do so.

Adequate Support

The next step is to determine whether in fact the deceased made adequate provision for support of the dependant.

This will be determined on a case by case basis based on the facts and circumstances of the individual case. It is important to consider the factors of what the court will look when determining the amount of support, set out in s,62, such as:

  • Age, physical and mental health;
  • Accustomed standard of living;
  • Duration and proximity of relationship;
  • Ability to provide own support;
  • Contributions made to the deceased;
  • Size of estate;
  • Agreement with deceased,
  • If a spouse: chores and housekeeping duties, and length of time cohabited.

This is a brief overview - for the full list click here and scroll down to section 62.

Section 58 of SLRA Act states that the court may order such a provision that it determines adequate to be made out of the estate of the deceased for the proper support of the dependants.

What to do next

We understand that this is a difficult time for you and your family and this is merely a brief overview of the law regarding dependant support. Your best interest is our main concern and we make sure to adopt cost-effective solutions in a timely manner.

We will explain your rights and options in a manner that is easy for you to understand.

We also offer a free consultation, which is an opportunity for you to speak to a lawyer before making any commitment. Call us for a free consultation on (416) 868-3263.

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