Due to changes to the Succession Law Reform Act (SLRA) by the Ontario government, surviving spouses in Ontario could now receive $350,000 if their spouse dies without a will.

If the couple has no children, the surviving spouse is entitled to all property in the estate. For couples with one child, the surviving spouse is entitled to a preferential share of up to $350,000 (up from $200,000), plus one half of the property in the estate. For couples with two or more children, they are entitled to this same preferential share, plus one third of the property, with the remaining amount divided equally among the children.

Further changes proposed to reforming Ontario estate law include for allowing the virtual witnessing of wills and powers of attorney and repealing the existing provision in the SLRA that revokes a will upon marriage.

With regards to estate administration tax, an estate worth up to $150,000.00 is now considered to be a small estate (up from $50,000.00) effect April 1, 2021. However, estate administration tax remains due on the portion of the estate worth more than $50,000.00.

These changes apply to all deaths that occurred March 1, 2021 or later.

For more information, you can read the full article here.