Dying Without A Will in Ontario: What to Expect Part 1

What happens if you suddenly disappeared without a will? Most people have no idea what happens to their family or their stuff. Take a look at the 7 ways dying without a will in Ontario may be a crime:

1. No executor is in charge.

Without a will, you have no say in who controls your estate. Only an Ontario resident can apply to handle an intestate estate. This process can take months to get appointed by a judge.

Intestacy means a person dies without a will. The alcoholic nephew you distrust now could end up being your estate trustee without a will.

2. Your last wishes cannot be respected.

You wanted your collection of Marvel comic books or Barbie dolls to go to a nephew or niece. Your intentions are not legally binding, and a judge cannot enforce them.

3. Your estate gets distributed by law.

You have no say in who gets what or when. Minor children must have their inheritance paid into court. Relatives you haven’t spoken to or heard from in years may inherit your stuff.

If you haven’t named a guardian for your children, there will be a fight for custody. Look at who has custody of Michael Jackson’s children.

4. Your income tax returns are due.

Without a will, no one can pay your tax returns on time. Your estate will probably have to pay penalties and interest charges. Click to tweet.

You didn’t take advantage of any tax deferral or planning strategies. Your estate will also pay more income taxes than necessary. That means less money for your family.

5. Your estate pays extra legal and administrative costs.

Everyone with an interest in your estate will be entitled to hire a lawyer. All your brothers and sisters may apply to be estate trustee without a will. All of them could have lawyers paid for from your estate. That means even less money for loved ones.

6. Family members with immediate financial needs will be stuck.

No one will have access to your bank accounts. Privacy laws prevent financial institutions from even giving out information to immediate family. Who knows how to help your own family better than you?

As an estate lawyer, I’ve gone to court to get temporary support for children and spouses. Why? Because there was no will. All the accounts in a deceased person’s name were frozen.

7. Your prized possessions must be sold.

You collected a lot of stuff in your life. Whatever plans you had for your stuff, it all goes out the window without a will. Everything must be sold to get cash.

What Is Intestate in Ontario?

Intestacy is the legal term for dying without a will.

Are you involved in an estate where there is no will?

My blog posts:

Making Your Will – The 12 Critical Steps

Are You at Risk?

When Should I Change My Will?

About Ed

Edward Olkovich (BA, LLB, TEP, C.S.) is a nationally recognized estate expert. He is a Toronto estate lawyer and Certified Specialist in Estates and Trusts. Edward has practiced law since 1978 and is the author of seven books. 

Interested in a Meeting with Ed?

Please book online to begin your journey.