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In the absence of a will do spouses inherit from each other upon death? NO. In the absence of a will, the law determines who inherits your property. A succession with no will is said to be “ab intestat.”

Without a will, your common law spouse cannot inherit
If you and your partner are not legally married or in a civil union, you cannot inherit from each other. This rule applies even if you have always lived together and even if children are born of your union.

What is my spouse’s share of my succession if we are married or in a civil union?
In this case, assuming you do not leave a will, there are several possible scenarios. For example, if you have children or grandchildren, your spouse will only be entitled to one-third of your property. This means that overnight your spouse could become part owner, with your children, of the property that belonged to you before your death.

Also, if you have not had or adopted a child and your father or mother is still alive at the time of your death, your spouse will only be entitled to two-thirds of your property. Under the law, the other third is for your father or mother. This means, for example, that the RRSPs your spouse counted on for retirement will be shared with your father and/or mother. The rules of intestate succession could hold other surprises for you. For the sake of your spouse and those dear to you, you should really make a will, regardless of your age and the amount or value of the property you own. Your notary can give you good advice on planning a succession for a blended family and children from previous relationships.


Source: Chamber of Notaries Quebec


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