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Vancouver No Will Intestacy Lawyers handle intestacy and partial intestacy cases. Vancouver intestate Will cases are one of the most unfortunate situations in Vancouver estate litigation. MacLean Law’s intestate dispute lawyers know losing a beloved family member is a crushing loss. When there is no Will or a Will that failed to include alternate beneficiaries in the event some or all of the beneficiaries die before the Will maker, then confusion can occur. Fortunately, there are rules to help solve this troubling event. Our Vancouver No Will Intestacy Lawyers operate across BC and in Calgary with offices in Vancouver, Surrey, Kelowna, Richmond and Fort St John and in downtown Calgary.

Vancouver No Will Intestacy Lawyers 604-602-9000

Lorne N MacLean, QC and Fraser MacLean of our team of top rated* Vancouver No Will Intestacy Lawyers explain that Intestacy can occur when the Willmaker dies without having made a valid will or worse still has never made a Will. In British Columbia, the Wills, Estates and Succession Act (WESA) sets out how an estate would be distributed in the case of intestacy.

Earlier this year the B.C Supreme Court released its decision in Atrill Estate in which the Court had to consider issues relating to partial intestacy along with a descendant who had been intentionally excluded from a will. The descendant, Ian James, had predeceased the testator and had 3 children, one of whom had been adopted by another family.  The testator had died leaving $40,000 to his daughter, nothing to his son Ian, and the entire residue of the estate to his second wife who had also predeceased the testator. The testator did not name an alternative beneficiary and had expressly left his son Ian out of the will. The Court found that the absence of the testator naming an alternative beneficiary resulted in partial intestacy to which provisions under s. 23(2)(a) of WESA applied, thus giving the excluded son an entitlement to a share.

[11]       ……… I am persuaded that the same reasoning applies to the facts on the application before me. The residue of the Atrill Estate must be distributed according to the “statutory Will” found in the intestate succession provisions of WESA. Consequently I am not able to accept the submission of the respondent that the intention of the late Mr. Atrill to exclude Ian James from a share in the residue of his estate prevails over the provisions of WESA. The respondent is clearly a descendant within the meaning of WESA and for the purposes of sharing in the residue of the late Mr. Atrill’s estate, but the question arises as to who are the other descendants of the late Ian James.

Because Ian was no longer alive, the Court found that the two children that Ian fathered were entitled to one half of the residue of the estate, while the testator’s daughter was entitled to the other half. The Court found that Amanda Morden, who was a biological child of Ian but adopted out during his lifetime, was not entitled to the estate. The Court provided the following:

[12]        ……. Section 3 of WESA provides that a child who was adopted out is not entitled to the estate of the pre-adoption parent on an intestacy.

[14]        Ms. Morden claims a share in the residue of the Atrill estate through her relationship to her biological parent not through her adopted family. She is, however, as the law of this province provides, a “descendant” of her adopted family and is not a descendant of Ian James nor a descendant of William Hugh Atrill. She therefore cannot share in the residue of the Atrill estate.

Vancouver No Will Intestacy Lawyers Across BC and In Calgary In 6 Locations

Vancouver No Will Intestacy Lawyers explain that the intestacy Rules under WESA are found in Part 3 of the WESA. These rules cover cases where there is a spouse alone, a spouse and children both of a first and second marriage, no spouses, two spouses and where there is a family home.  A CBA summary of these rules is:

  1. If you have a spouse and no descendants, your estate goes to your spouse. A descendant means a surviving person of the generation nearest to you. This will almost always be children only.  For example, even if there are grandchildren alive, if their parent is alive (your child) the grandchildren will not share in the estate.
  2. If you have a spouse and descendants, then what goes to whom depends on whether the descendants are also your spouse’s descendants. If so, your spouse gets the first $300,000 of your estate. If not, your spouse gets the first $150,000 of your estate. Then one half of the rest of your estate goes to your spouse. The other half is divided among your descendants. Your spouse has the right to acquire the family home from your estate as part of their share.
  3. If you have more than one spouse (possible under WESA, and explained later in this script), they share the spouse’s share equally (unless they agree or a court decides differently).
  4. If you have no spouse, then your estate is divided among your descendants equally.If you have no spouse and no descendants, then your estate goes to your parents.
  5. If your parents aren’t alive, it goes to your brothers and sisters, divided among them equally.

Vancouver No Will Intestacy Lawyers Can Help

These rules are complex so call our Vancouver No Will Intestacy Lawyers today to find a path to a just solution of your state estate dispute. Call us toll free across BC at 1-877-602-9900.

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