Dependent Support Claims: Liabilities of the Estate Trustee

  • October 07, 2022
  • Kimberly Gale and Palak Mahajan, Gale Law

There are many times when a person dies and does not leave a will, or their will does not leave adequate share for the dependants. These dependants may have a valid claim that they are entitled to receive support from the estate of the deceased. In order for a dependant to receive support from the estate, they must bring a Dependant Support Claim.

Dependant Support Claim

Dependant: A Dependant Support Claim (“Claim”) is a claim brought by a “dependant” as defined under the Succession Law Reform Act, R.S.O. 1990 c.S. 26 (“Act”). Section 57 of the Act defines “dependant” as (a) the spouse of the deceased; (b) a parent of the deceased; (c) a child of the deceased; (d) a brother or sister of the deceased. All these persons ought to be the people to whom the deceased was providing support or was under a legal obligation to provide support immediately before his or her death.

Support: The Act does not define the word “support”. However, over a period, Courts have interpreted the word “support” to include financial support, moral support, and physical support. The Act stipulates that the deceased must have been providing support immediately before death or must have been under a legal obligation to provide support.

Therefore, any of the “dependants” as described under the Act who can claim that they were being supported by the deceased immediately before the death or had an obligation to support, in one or all forms, appear to have a valid claim.