Dependents Relief Claims: You Can Have Two Spouses

Canadian jurisdictions allow the spouse of a deceased to make claims against the estate for support and interim support provided the test for entitlement and need are met. In Ontario, a “dependent” is defined by the Succession Law Reform Act to include a “spouse”, defined in part as either of two persons who are not married but have co-habited continuously for a period of not less than three years. But can a person have two such spouses?  Yes, according to a recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. The court found that evidence that a deceased may have co-habited with two women in different homes for periods of time that overlap did not require the court to determine that one was a spouse and the other was not for purposes of support. Both could qualify.

Blair v. Cooke Estate

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