Many people mistakenly think they don’t need a Will. They assume that if one spouse dies, the other spouse will automatically inherit everything. Unfortunately, this is often not the case.
According to the provincial succession laws, in the absence of a Will, a surviving spouse may automatically inherit only the first $200,000 dollars of the estate. Any surplus would have to be shared with the children or other family members.
Common law spouses are even worse off in a situation where there is no Will. For example, in Ontario, even if you and your common-law spouse have been living in a common-law marriage for 40 years, the surviving spouse would not automatically inherit anything, since they may not be considered “spouses” under the provincial succession laws when it comes to inheriting an estate!
Take the time to put a carefully written will in place, for the ones you love the most.