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Intestacy Law in Ontario: Estate Administrator

When someone dies without a will or dies leaving a will that fails to deal with part of the estate, the result is an intestacy.   In Ontario, there are two primary statutes which address intestate estates, including the Succession Law Reform Act (“SLRA”) and the Estates Act.

The Estates Act prescribes who may apply to administer the deceased’s estate. Section 29 of the Act states that priority is given to the “person to whom the deceased was married immediately before death or the person with whom the deceased was living in a conjugal relationship outside marriage immediately before the death.” Following the above, priority is given to the “next of kin.” The next of kin of course includes the following individuals in descending rank:

  • Children

  • Grandchildren (if no living children)

  • Great-grandchildren or other issue

  • Father or mother

  • Siblings

  • Other next of kin

In the event there are no next of kin who are willing and able to act (i.e., adults), section 2 of the Crown Administration of Estates Act provides that the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee may apply. Alternatively, the next of kin may nominate another third party to act as the administrator, such as a lawyer or a trust company.

In terms of the beneficiaries, the persons entitled to the share of an intestate estate are set out in the SLRA. I will review the relevant terms of the SLRA in my next blog article.

Thanks for reading,


Jason AllanComment