A Dependent’s Relief claim may arise when a person(s) who was dependent on the deceased for financial support was either not named in the Will or not adequately provided for under the Will.
If it appears that a dependent has not been treated fairly, the executor must remain completely impartial and recommend that the beneficiary seek their own legal advice to explore it further. The executor is not compelled to seek legal counsel on behalf of the estate until it becomes clear that the claim will proceed.
If a Dependent’s Relief claim proceeds, then the executor should hire an experienced estate lawyer and refrain from making any distributions until the matter has decided by the Court. The Court will determine if the claim is valid an if it supersedes the terms of the Will.
Dependent’s Relief legislation and application protocols vary amongst provinces. Using an experienced estate lawyer is essential.
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