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What Happens If I Don’t Have a Will?

If you die without a Will your property will be distributed according to the rules set out in The Intestate Succession Act, 2019. This law does not take into account your wishes.

Your next of kin must generally apply for Letters of Administration to deal with your estate. The Administrator must distribute your estate in accordance with the Act. Taxes, debts and funeral expenses are paid first. The rest of your estate is then distributed according to the following rules...

Your entire estate goes to your spouse if...

  • you have a spouse but no descendants, or
  • you have a spouse and children, and all children are children of you and your spouse

Your entire estate also goes to your spouse if the value of your estate is not more than $200,000 and you have a spouse and children who were not children of the you and your spouse.

If the value of your estate is more than $200,000 and you have a spouse and children who are not children of you and your spouse, the estate will be shared as follows...

  • if there is one child, the remainder is split evenly between your spouse and the child
  • if there is more than one child, one-third of the remainder goes to your spouse and the other two-thirds is shared by the children

A spouse includes a legally married spouse and an individual who has lived with the intestate for at least 24 months as a spouse. It is important to note that a spouse is not entitled to any of the estate if...

  • they had been living apart for more than two years at the time of the intestate's death
  • a family law proceeding had been started against each other and not reconciled
  • that had made a separation agreement and not reconciled
  • they were in a spousal relationship with another person

If you die without a spouse or any children or grandchildren, the estate will go first to...

  • your parents or descendants of their parents (such as your siblings or nieces or nephews)
  • your grandparents or their descendants (such as your aunts and uncles or first cousins)
  • your great grandparents or their descendants.

It is important to note that distribution under this Act is still subject to claims by a dependant under The Dependant's Relief Act or a spouse under The Family Property Act.

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PLEA gratefully acknowledges our primary core funder the Law Foundation of Saskatchewan for their continuing and generous support of our organization.