Married spouses will typically consider one another in their estate planning and will make provisions for one another in their wills and other important legal documents. Following the death of their husband or wife, a surviving spouse has two choices:

  • They can take what their spouse provided for them in the will; or
  • They can elect to file a claim against the spouse’s estate for an equalization payment under the Family Law Act. These claims can also be made in situations where a spouse dies without a valid will.

Each of these options has significant consequences for both the estate, the surviving spouse, as well as any other beneficiaries. It is important for both testators (i.e. those writing a will) as well as their spouses to understand what their rights are, how they can best plan for the future by minimizing risk and maximizing benefits to the surviving spouse and any other beneficiaries. These consequences are also important for those considering a second marriage, and those whose next relationship will result in a blended family. At Sattar Law Firm, we have assisted countless clients in managing their estates. 

Making a Claim under the Family Law

The Family Law Act creates a statutory right of equalization upon the death of a spouse, much like in a separation. This confers the right of equalization on the surviving spouse. Importantly, the parties have to be legally married at the time to trigger this right, which means that the situation for common-law spouses is slightly different. This may also have an impact on individuals who are in a second or subsequent marriage at the time of their death.

A surviving spouse who chooses to pursue an equalization payment can also pursue a Dependant’s Support Claim at the same time. There are tight timelines for making an election, and surviving spouses should consult with an experienced estate lawyer as soon as possible in order to understand their rights and make a decision appropriate to their particular circumstances.

At Sattar Law Office, we understand Family Law can be a stressful, emotional, and serious matter which often becomes challenging and time-consuming. We take the time to understand your case with sensibility from beginning to end in order to advise legally and professionally. Mohsin Sattar at Sattar Law Firm will assist with Family Law cases from giving independent legal advice to representing Clients in and/or out of Court.


Our goal is to protect our Clients interests which can often be achieved by negotiated settlements which are cost-effective and time-effective. In the case when parties are unable to resolve their differences, we are prepared to represent our Clients in Court.

Sattar Law Firm is competent in assisting Clients with:

  • Custody matters
  • Divorce Applications
  • Separation Agreements
  • Restraining Orders
  • Spousal Support
  • Child Support
  • Property Division
  • And any other Family Law related matter