Planning Your Estate

Distribution of Property Upon Death

If you were to die without a will, your property would be divided according to the laws governing family patrimony, matrimonial regimes and supplemental pension plans of your province. Please find below some of the applicable provisions. You should also be aware that your creditors will be paid before your property is divided among your heirs.

Division of Your Property in Quebec

Legal heirs Division of property
Spouse* only (no children, father, mother, brother, sister, niece, or nephew) Entire estate to spouse
Spouse* (one or more children)

1/3 to the spouse

2/3 to the child or children in equal shares

No spouse* (one or more children) Entire estate to the child or children in equal shares
Spouse*, father, mother or both (no children)

2/3 to the spouse

1/3 to the father, the mother or both in equal parts

Spouse*, father, mother or both, brothers, sisters, nephews, and nieces (no children)

2/3 to the spouse

1/3 to the father or mother or both in equal shares

Spouse*, brothers, sisters, nephews, and nieces (no children, father or mother)

2/3 to the spouse

1/3 to the brothers, sisters, nephews, and nieces

The father, mother or both, brothers, sisters, nephews, and nieces (no spouse or children)

½ to the father, the mother or both

½ to the brothers, sisters, nephews, and nieces

Brothers, sisters, nephews, and nieces (no children, spouse, father, or mother) To all
The father and mother or both only (no children, spouse, brother, sister, nephew, or niece) ½ to the father, the mother or both

*In this table, "spouse" means the person with whom the deceased was legally or civilly married. A de facto spouse has no right in the deceased's property, regardless of the length of the cohabitation period.

Division of Your Property in Ontario

Legal heirs Division of property
Spouse* only (no children) Entire estate to spouse
Spouse*(with one child) The first $75,000 to the spouse, the remainder to the spouse and child in equal shares
Spouse* (with children)

The first $75,000 to the spouse,

1/3 of the remainder to the spouse and

2/3 to the children

Spouse*, father, mother or both (no children)

2/3 to the spouse

1/3 to the father, the mother or both in equal parts

No spouse* (with children)

Everything to the child or children

No spouse* and no children

Everything to the closest relative, usually in the following order:

  • The parents;
  • If neither of the parents is living, the brothers and sisters;
  • If there are no surviving brothers or sisters, the nephews and nieces;
  • If there are no surviving nephews or nieces, the closest surviving relative;

If no surviving relative can be found, the province is the beneficiary.

The father, mother or both, brothers, sisters, nephews, and nieces (no spouse or children)

½ to the father, the mother or both

½ to the brothers, sisters, nephews, and nieces

Brothers, sisters, nephews, and nieces (no children, spouse, father, or mother) To all
The father and mother or both only (no children, spouse, brother, sister, nephew, or niece) ½ to the father, the mother or both
No living relative (beyond the 8th degree) Province is the beneficiary.

*In this table, "spouse" means the person with whom the deceased was legally or civilly married. A de facto spouse has no right in the deceased's property, regardless of the length of the cohabitation period.

Division of Your Property in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia or New Brunswick

Legal heirs Division of property
Spouse* only (no children) Entire estate to spouse
Spouse* (with one child)
  1. Distribution in equal shares
  2. The first $50,000 to the spouse, the rest in equal shares
  3. The personal property to the spouse, the rest in equal shares
Spouse* (with children)
  1. 1/3 to the spouse and 2/3 to the children
  2. The first $50,000 to the spouse, 1/3 of the remainder to the spouse and 2/3 to the children
  3. The personal property to the spouse, 1/3 of the remainder to the spouse and 2/3 to the children
No spouse* (with children)

Everything to the child or children

No spouse* and no children

Everything to the closest relative, usually in the following order:

  • The parents;
  • If neither of the parents is living, the brothers and sisters;
  • If there are no surviving brothers or sisters, the nephews and nieces;
  • If there are no surviving nephews or nieces, the closest surviving relative;

If no surviving relative can be found, the province is the beneficiary.

*In this table, "spouse" means the person with whom the deceased was legally or civilly married. A de facto spouse has no right in the deceased's property, regardless of the length of the cohabitation period.

This information is presented for information purposes only and should not be considered to be legal or financial advice. For further information, contact a legal or financial advisor.

Investia
A Subsidiary of iA Financial Group