Highlights of Noteworthy Decisions

Decision 3683 17 I
Z. Onen - M. Christie - C. Salama (PT)
  • Death (maintenance of claim by estate)

The worker appealed a decision of the Appeals Resolution Officer denying entitlement for a recurrence. The worker died after filing the appeal. The worker had no will and no estate trustee has been appointed.

In this decision, the Panel considered the request of the worker's widow to continue the appeal on behalf of the estate.
The estate has the right to claim benefits that would have been payable to the worker during his lifetime. The Tribunal has to determine who has the authority to act for the estate. When there is no will and no appointment of an estate trustee, the Tribunal considers factors outlined in the Tribunal practice direction on Appeals Involving Deceased Workers, including whether the person seeking to act has the consent of any possible beneficiaries, whether beneficiaries have withheld consent, whether the person seeking to act has done so in the past and whether the person seeking to act has been recognized by an provincial or federal government authorities as representing the estate.
In this case, the worker and the widow were married and living together at the time of the worker's death. The widow was estranged from the worker's two sons. She had made reasonable efforts to contact them but had received no response. The widow has acted on behalf of the estate in the past and was accepted as a representative by public authorities when dealing with tax and pension benefit issues.
The Panel concluded that the widow may represent the interests of the estate on this appeal.