So got a simple question, however, doing some searches, my google-foo failed me. Hoping some here can help shed some light on this and point me in the right direction.

This is all future planning only, so no pending legal issues or such :)

My wife and I are Canadian, living in Toronto area. We have a house in both our names. She has a son from previous marriage. If she dies first, we'd like to put something in her will so that her son inherits her half of the house title. So essentially it would be in mine and her son's name.

Obviously the idea being to ensure he is legally entitled to half of the assets if she passes first.

In canadian law, can the will do this ? Is there other little caveats that need to be watched out for ?

Does anyone know of any links I could get some more reading on regarding this?


[edit] clarification: step-son is currently over 18 [/edit]

1 Answer 1


Yes, you can do this.

However, spouses in Canada usually own land using tenancy by the entirety which means that ownership would automatically pass to you on your wife's death; by-passing the provisions of her will. To give effect to your wishes, you would need to ensure that you held the property as tenants in common; your wife's share would then form part of her estate and be distributed according to her will.

You will need professional legal and tax advice on this.

  • Thanks .. I kind of understand the "tenancy by the entirety" as being the "default" if you will (even without knowing the official name), however, didn't really know how it applied. Thanks for clearing that up :)
    – Ditto
    Commented Nov 2, 2015 at 1:34

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