The answer to this question lies in the answer to another question. How did you take title to the property at the time of the purchase?
If you took it in your own name, then it is simply an asset to be dealt with in the administration of the Estate. In the absence of a Will, the Province of Ontario has passed legislation that says what will happen to the assets of a deceased. If he/she was married, the spouse gets the first $350,000.00 of the estate and 1/3 of the balance. Any children, young or old, would share the other 2/3rds of the balance.
The assets, including any real estate, would have to be sold, any taxes (including capital gains) would have to be paid before determining the amount available for distribution. Someone, usually a close family member, would have to step up and ask to be appointed to be in charge of the Estate.
If the property was in the name of a corporation, the shares of the corporation, and not the real estate itself, is the asset that needs to be dealt with. At the discretion of the Administrator of the Estate, the shares could be transferred to a beneficiary directly providing it complied with the requirements set out above. In this case, no capital gain is triggered since the title to the real estate is unchanged. It simply remains in the name of the corporation.
The bottom line is your assets will go to your relations if you pass without a Will. But if you really want to ensure it goes the way you planned, take the time to write down your last wishes in a Will.
We always recommend you consult a Law professional when creating your Will so that it is legally binding and all of your assets are covered. At McMurter & Associates, we start our estate planning consultation by asking you to provide information about your finances, dependents and any particular concerns you would like to address.
At McMurter & Associates, we believe in full disclosure of all fees and disbursements, so you will always know what your fees will be. Our fees are clearly set out on our website at www.mcmurter.com, or you can call us toll-free at 1-800-756-7138.