Wills Variation Claims & Intestacy
The Wills Variation Act (now known as the Wills, Estates and Succession Act) allows a child or a spouse to seek a variation of the will to provide a result that is fair in light of all the background. Variation claims can be made by biological and adopted children, but not step children.
In the case where a child has been disinherited, the court can look at the parent’s reasoning and decide whether or not to uphold the will.
Claims can arise in cases of blended families, new partnerships, marriages or common-law relationships and cases where the deceased may have had children from several relationships.
The family lawyers at Thomas and Associates are very experienced in advising on Will Variation Claims. We often represent disinherited children, as well as those defending a challenged will.
Intestacy – When Someone Dies Without a Will
When someone dies without a will, this is considered ‘intestate’. In this case, the provincial government will decide on how the assets will be distributed. Assets (including property) will only pass automatically to the surviving spouse if the assets were jointly held. Otherwise, assets will be divided between the surviving spouse and any children. The definition of ‘spouse’ varies from province to province and may not include common-law relationships.
The lawyers at Thomas and Associates have dozens of years experience with intestacy. We can help you understand the complexities of Intestacy laws and help you administer an estate when there is no will.
In the case of a separation, the ex-partner will still fall under the definition of spouse when there is no will and will be entitled to a share of the estate. It is a good idea to have a Separation Agreement in place to address this issue.
When there is a will, the person who is in charge of the estate is called the executor or personal representative. When a person dies intestate, a family member may apply to the courts to act as the estate administrator. If the court grants letters of administration, the administrator inventories the estate, pays out all the debts and then makes sure the beneficiaries receive what they should under intestacy laws.