A Guide to Dependent Support Claims

Guides to Dependent Support Claims

In Ontario, under the Succession Law Reform Act (SLRA), a dependent entitled to support can submit a dependent support claim application when the deceased person whom they depended on has not made adequate provision for the proper support.

What is a dependent support claim?

A dependent support claim is a mechanism that compels the estate of an individual to provide for others.

Who qualifies as a dependent under the SLRA?

A dependent support claim is a mechanism that compels the estate of an individual to provide for others.

A spouse includes two persons who are married to each other or two persons who were married but divorced. The spouse is defined as a person who has been living with this other person for more than 3 years.

1. Continuously for a period of three years; or

2. Are in a relationship of “some permanence” if they are biological or adoptive parents of a child

Who can apply?

The dependent or the dependant’s parent can make a claim for their dependency.

You cannot legally file for a dependent support claim after six months of the grant of letters probate. The court has discretion on whether to allow the application after six months of distributing all estate assets.

What kind of support is a dependent eligible for?

Support includes financial, physical and moral support.

What is considered proper support?

The provision made by the deceased must be adequate for the present day and the future.

What are the factors a court will consider in determining support?

Courts will consider a number of factors outlined in s. 62 of the SLRA including,

a) the dependent’s current assets and means;

b) When the assets and means that the dependant is likely to have in the future;

c) the dependant’s capacity to contribute to his or her own support;

d) the dependant’s age and physical and mental health;

e) Finally, the dependant’s needs, in determining which the court shall have regard to the dependant’s accustomed standard of living;

While legislation lists a number of factors, courts have wide discretion in making determinations and consider all the circumstances of the application.

Pending a final decision, courts have the authority to make a temporary order for support if a judge considers it appropriate particularly where the claimant is in need of and entitled to support. Dependent support claims can ensure that dependants receive the support they deserve after a person’s death.

If you are a dependant or parent of a dependent looking for legal advice on submitting a dependent support claim, please contact our office at 905-366-0202 to book a free consultation.

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