Blog: Property

What happens to my Will if I separate from my spouse? What happens to my Will if I get divorced?

In happier times, you made a will leaving everything to your spouse and naming him/her as your estate trustee (executor). Now you are separating. Presumably, anyone reading your will today would realize that it is probably no longer your intention to leave your estate to your (now former) spouse, so your will would be interpreted differently, right? Unfortunately, that is not the case. Even if someone might be able to guess that your wishes have changed, that is not enough to change your will. In fact, section 17(1) of the…

Severing the Joint Tenancy – Separation, Death and Property

Severing Joint Tenancy – Real Estate If spouses hold real estate together as joint tenants on title to the property (e.g., the matrimonial home, or any other piece of real estate), then if one of the spouses die, the other spouse gets the property outright. This is known as “right of survivorship.”  When spouses separate, often they do not want the other spouse to get his/her portion of the home upon death.  A good solution to this problem is to sever the joint tenancy.  Severing the joint tenancy is a simple, cost-effective…

Limitation Periods and Equalization – The Time-Related Expiry of Rights and Obligations

In law, a limitation period refers to the amount of time that a claimant has to start a court proceeding for a claim against another person before their rights to start that claim expire. Put another way, a limitation period is the time limit that a person has to start court for a claim.  If the person misses that limitation period, then his/her claim expires under the law.  This is also referred to as a claim being “statute-barred.” Equalization In Ontario equalization cases (property division for married spouses) a limitation…

Equalization – What is It and How is It Calculated?

In Ontario, equalization refers to property (assets and debts) division for married spouses only. This does not apply to common-law couples (i.e., couples who cohabit but do not marry). Generally, for each spouse, the following calculation is completed: add up all of the assets that the spouse owned on the date the parties separated (also known as the “valuation date”); subtract all of the debts that the spouse had on the date of separation from the value in (a) above to obtain that spouse’s net worth on the date of…

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