What are the moral obligations of a supporting spouse to provide for the dependent spouse after the husband dies?

Alberta, Canada

The following excerpt is from Friend Estate (Re), 2000 ABQB 585 (CanLII):

In Tataryn Estate supra moral obligations are defined as society’s reasonable expectations as to what a judicious person would do in the circumstances, by reference to contemporary community standards. The case describes how most people would agree that a strong moral obligation exists for a supporting spouse to provide for a dependent spouse or dependent adult after his death, if the size of the estate permits. Where the estate permits, all conflicting claims should be met. Where priorities must be considered, claims based upon legal obligations should take precedence over moral obligations. The testator’s freedom to dispose of her property should not be interfered with lightly, but only insofar as the statute requires. The key point in Tataryn v. Tataryn Estate that applies in the application before me is the statement that morally it could not be just and equitable to deprive the wife, in this case husband, of the estate in his old age simply because his wife died first. To confine him to such sums would fail to recognize his deserved independence and his moral claim. CONCLUSION

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