Legal Obligation to Provide for Your Dependents on Death

Planning for the distribution of your estate is crucial, especially when it comes to providing for your spouse and dependant children. In Saskatchewan, The Dependant’s Relief Act, 1996 and The Family Property Act play significant roles in ensuring fair distribution.

  • The Dependant’s Relief Act, 1996 allows certain dependants of a deceased person, such as spouses and dependant children, to apply to the court for a redistribution of the estate if they feel they have not been adequately provided for in a Will. Dependant children may be minor children under the age of 18 or adult children who cannot earn a livelihood because of a physical or mental disability or who have a greater need.
  • The Family Property Act, on the other hand, addresses the division of property between spouses upon separation, divorce, or death, aiming to ensure a fair distribution of assets. 

If your Will does not sufficiently provide for your spouse or dependant children, they can seek court intervention to redistribute your estate, regardless of the existence of a Will. The surviving dependants/spouse of a deceased individual have six months from the date of probate to bring a court action contesting the distribution of the estate. This time limit is important to ensure timely resolution of estate matters.

Therefore, it is important to consider the needs of your spouse and dependents to ensure that your Will adequately provides for them. Failure to do so could result in a court-ordered redistribution of your estate, which may not align with your intentions.

Given the complexities of these laws, seeking legal advice when planning your estate is highly recommended. A lawyer can help you understand your rights and obligations under The Dependant’s Relief Act, 1996 and The Family Property Act, ensuring that your wishes are carried out effectively and in accordance with the law.


Disclaimer: This Blog is intended to provide readers with general information. Each client’s circumstances and legal solutions might vary. For further details, please reach out to us to learn more.


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