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Did you know that without a will, your children inherit a larger share of your property than your spouse?

Juliette and Antoine have been married for five years. They have two young children who are 2 and 4 years old. They are co-owners of a charming house which Antoine, a construction contractor, has built himself. For her part, Juliette stays at home and devotes her time to raising their young children. Although this situation is only temporary, in the meantime, Antoine is responsible for the mortgage payments and paying all their household bills. For a single-salary household, their financial situation quite good.
On a cold winter day, Juliette was involved in a car accident and died from her injuries. Despite the fact that when purchasing their home, the notary had explained the importance of drafting a will, it turned out that Juliette had no will. During the first meeting with his notary to settle the estate, the latter informed Antoine that he would only collect a third of his wife’s estate.
Did you know that without a will, the children inherit a larger share of the property than the surviving spouse? According to article 666 of the Quebec Civil Code, if the deceased leaves a married spouse and children, the succession devolves to them. The married spouse inherits one-third and the children, the other two-thirds.
Antoine thus becomes co-owner of his house with his two minor children. It is possible for him to buy back the house from his children, but not without a costly and complex judicial process.

Furthermore, if it turns out that the share of each child exceeds $25,000, the Public Curator of Québec must be notified and a tutorship council composed of three family members will be appointed to oversee the administration of the children’s legacy until they become major.

It must be said that a will would have greatly simplified the bereaved family’s life! If you face such a situation or need advice, please contact our notary.