The Intestate Succession Act lists how a person’s estate will be distributed when they die without a will based on their family members. For example, if a married intestate person had one child, their spouse and child will have an equal 50/50 interest in the intestate person’s estate. However, if the intestate person had 2 or more children, their spouse will only have a one third interest in the estate. The other two thirds will be equally shared among the children, regardless of how many children there are.
If a person had no married spouse, nor any children, but their parents are still alive, then the intestate person’s parents will have an equal 50/50 interest in the intestate person’s estate. If there is only one surviving parent, then the surviving parent will have interest in the entire estate.
The Intestate Succession Act also considers other situations where a person has no married spouse, children, or living parents. In these situations the intestate person’s brothers and sisters will receive an equal interest in the estate. If they had siblings who predeceased them, and have no living married spouse, children, parents, or siblings, then their nephew(s) and niece(s) will have an equal interest in the estate.
Additionally, if a person does have a will, but has not provided for what will happen with something that they own at their time of death, then the Intestate Succession Act will apply to any unaccounted for items.
Yes, the Intestate Succession Act does not provide for family members who are estranged from an intestate.
Although someone may have become estranged to their parent, sibling, uncle, or otherwise, unless a person makes a will that determines how their estate will be distributed upon death, the Intestate Succession Act applies.
Yes, children born after a person has died can be entitled to part or all of an estate.
Section 12 of the Intestate Succession Act states that:
“Descendants and relatives of the intestate, begotten before the death of the intestate but born after, shall inherit as if they had been born in the lifetime of the intestate and had survived the intestate.”
Provided that a child born after an intestate person’s death is their child they will have the same rights as if they were born during the lifetime of the deceased person.
Any person of the age of majority who is a resident of Newfoundland and Labrador can handle an intestate person's estate. This is usually done through a court application to the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador (General Division).
A person, or persons, appointed by the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador (General Division) are known as administrators. They are responsible for administering an estate, including filing appropriate taxes, paying debts, and distributing a person’s estate according to the Intestate Succession Act. For more information on applying to court, please visit the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador’s website here:
Making a will provides certainty as to who will inherit under a person's estate. The Intestate Succession Act provides additional certainty when a will is not signed. Although it is not mandatory to make a will, it can have additional benefits. If you are uncertain as to whether or not you should make a will, you should speak to a lawyer to determine what is best for your situation.
PLIAN has a lawyer referral service whereby you can speak to a lawyer for 30 minutes for $40.00 (tax included). There is no obligation for the client or the lawyer to go beyond this 30 minute consultation. However, it is a good way to get some basic legal advice and guidance in estate planning. For more information, please contact us Monday-Friday 8:30AM – 4:00PM (NT) at either (709) 722-2643, 1-888-660-7788 (Toll Free) or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also contact our Happy Valley-Goose Bay office at (709) 896-5235 or at email@example.com.