DYING WITHOUT A WILL

Who Inherits?
Most of us spend a good part of our lifetime building up an estate. We should also take a few minutes to direct, by our Wills, to whom our estate is to pass, how it is to be distributed, and in what proportions.

Even though you may be satisfied with the distribution that would take place by law in your own circumstances should you leave no Will, there are other important considerations that must not be overlooked:

  • Added expense of higher administration fees to your family, because you have no Will.

  • Higher taxes, because of lack of planning, that your family may have to pay.

  • Protecting your minor children by planning thoroughly what is to happen to them upon your death.

  • Protecting your family by ensuring there are no extra delays, inconvenience, and expense in the settlement of your estate.

  • The anxious search by your family for a Will.

  • The acrimony that may arise between family members due to disagreements on how to divide your estate.

  • Finally, your Will is your only opportunity to select and appoint an executor(s) to settle your estate.

If you die without a Will, and were living in Saskatchewan, your estate will be distributed as follows:

  • If you leave a spouse and no children:
    - All to spouse

  • If you leave a spouse and one child:
    - First $100,000.00 to spouse
    - 1/2 of remainder to spouse and
    - 1/2 of remainder to child*

  • If you leave a spouse and two or more children:
    - First $100,000.00 to spouse
    - 1/3 of remainder to spouse and
    - 2/3 of remainder divided equally among children*

  • If you leave a child or children, but no spouse:
    All to child or equally divided among children*

  • If you leave no lawful heirs:
    All to Provincial Crown

* Children of a deceased child (grandchildren), take that child’s share 

Administration Bond
Without a Will, you will be required to either:

  • Have all the beneficiaries and creditors consent to the appointment of someone to act as administrator, without a bond;
    - or -
  • You must have someone with assets worth double the value of the estate post a bond or security with the Court to guarantee the administrator’s actions. This process can be difficult, as the administrator must request personal asset information from one or more other persons who have enough assets to equal this value.

Our very knowledgeable and experienced lawyer would be happy to help you analyze your needs and make helpful suggestions prior to drafting your Will.

This webpage has been created to outline sample estate distributions in certain typical situations and is not a complete digest of the applicable laws for Saskatchewan.