Ontario Civil


Estates and Trusts

Estates

Dependants’ relief legislation

Proceeds of life insurance policy for father payable to mother to extent of father’s support obligations

Deceased father SC was required by court order to maintain mother AC as irrevocable beneficiary on life insurance policy and to pay child and spousal support. Father’s new partner ED applied under Succession Law Reform Act (SLRA) for dependants’ relief. Trial judge determined that proceeds of policy were included in father’s estate and available for dependants’ claims under SLRA. Appeal judge dismissed mother’s appeal. Mother appealed. Appeal allowed. Mother was entitled to payment of policy’s proceeds to extent of father’s support obligations, past and future, existing at time of his death, and calculated in accordance with terms and duration of support orders in effect at date of death. Policy was transaction effected by father before his death within meaning of s. 72(1) of SLRA, so proceeds were deemed to form part of his net estate. Appeal judge erred in holding that mother did not fall within s. 72(7) of SLRA unless she was secured creditor with security interest in policy. Where, at time of his death, spousal or child support payor owned insurance policy that was subject to court order requiring designation of support recipient as irrevocable beneficiary, s. 72(7) of SLRA protected from claw back in s. 72(1) of SLRA that part of policy’s proceeds needed to satisfy payor’s obligations to support recipients, calculated in accordance with support orders in place at time of death. Full amount of policy’s proceeds was not automatically excluded from claw back in s. 72(1) of SLRA.

Dagg v. Cameron Estate (2017), 2017 CarswellOnt 6557, 2017 ONCA 366, David Doherty J.A., David Brown J.A., and B.W. Miller J.A. (Ont. C.A.); reversed (2016), 2016 CarswellOnt 4876, 2016 ONSC 1892, Aston J., Swinton J., and Pattillo J. (Ont. Div. Ct.).

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