Think about making a dependant's support claim

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What can I do if someone died and I don't agree with what I'm getting from the estate?
This question has an answer and 3 steps

Think about making a dependant's support claim

In Ontario, the law says that people must give financial support to their dependants if they can.

You might be able to make a dependant's support claim if you were getting financial support, or had a legal right to get financial support, from the person just before they died.

A dependant can be a married or common-law partner, ex-spouse, child, stepchild, grandchild, parent, grandparent, brother, or sister.

For example, you might be able to make a claim if the person who died was your:

  • parent or stepparent and they were paying your school fees
  • common-law partner and you didn't work outside the home as they paid all the bills
  • sibling and you were living with them because you couldn't work outside the home and they paid all the bills

No will

You might also be able to make a dependant's support claim if the person died without a will and you do not get anything from their estate based on the intestacy rules. The intestacy rules do not give anything to a common-law partner, or to stepchildren who were not legally adopted.


To make a dependant's support claim you have to go to court and prove your relationship to the person who died and why you need financial support. You must usually do this within 6 months of an estate trustee being appointed.  A judge can let your claim go ahead after this date, but if you win, it may be harder to get money from the estate if some of the estate assets have already been distributed.

Get legal help

Making a dependant's support claim can cost a lot of money and take a lot of time. A lawyer can tell you if they think your claim would be successful and help you through the process.

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Reviewed: October 31, 2019

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