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Saviez-vous que les conjoints de fait qui n’ont pas de testament ne sont pas considérés comme des héritiers légaux entre eux?

Valerie has been living with Sebastien in a happy relationship for 20 years. The couple does not have any children. Over the years, they have accumulated a beautiful residence, a cottage on a lake and a motor boat, each bought in Sebastien’s name. They have never felt the need to get married since they were comfortable in their situation. During an unfortunate winter evening, when the roads are particularly slippery, Sebastien has a car accident and passes away.

Regrettably, Valerie realizes that she and Sebastien have never discussed their wishes as to what they would like to leave to each other, should one die before the other. They never saw the necessity of making a will, since they had always considered themselves protected by the simple fact that they had been together for so many years.

In consequence, at the opening of Sebastien’s estate, Valerie learns that she will not inherit their home, the cottage or the boat. Considering the absence of children and the fact that the couple was not married, all the property will be given to Sebastien’s sister. She is the only legal heir according to the rules of succession, despite being a family member with whom Valerie does not have a good relationship.

Did you know that if a person living in common-law relationship dies without a will, his or her partner is not considered a legal heir by the law? Indeed, if you want your common-law partner to inherit some of your assets, you have to predict such wishes in a will. Only a will can provide protection to the designated heirs and guarantee that your property will be bequeathed according to your wishes. This way you can accurately determine the assets you want to leave to your partner, your children or other relatives.

Should you face such a situation or need further advice, you should consult a lawyer.

For more information, please do not hesitate to contact them at: (514) 326-4553 or toll-free at 1-855-505-1515 or by email at info@brunetassocies.com.

Written by Mtre Marie-Laurence Brunet In collaboration with Mtre Virginie Saine-Loiselle Associates at Brunet & Associés brunetassocies.com