What Women Want...To know about NOT having a will

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An interesting question was asked today...."My half-brother has no will.  He has a step-sister.  Am I entitled to my half-brothers estate?  We have the same father out of wedlock."

So he has no will, but is he still alive? If he died without a will, his estate is considered intestate.  This means that his estate is distributed by government estate distribution rules.  These rules say who controls and shares in his estate.  There are particular intestate rules depending on his residency. Depending on the statutory rules you likely have a right to inherit because you have a closer legal relationship than a step-sister. 

Please note that intestate estate may not include designated or jointly owned assets with rights of survivorship.  Maybe he designated his step-sister as beneficiary of his life insurance or investments.  He may own jointly owned property with his step-sister.  These assets would not be controlled by the intestacy rules. 

Also, if your brother had children, they my have prior legal rights to inherit.  His children can be conceived and born after death and also inherit.  This will depend on legislation in each province or state. 

-Thanks to Ed Olkovich, a Toronto lawyer and certified specialist in Estate and Trust Law for the answer.

To find out more of what you need to know, contact me:

Michele Wells Financial Advisor Manulife Securities Incorporated 

Focused WealthCare Balancing Finances & Lifestyle

call (807) 684-1900 fax (807) 626-5111 e-mail Michele.Wells@manulifesecurities.ca

find me on linkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/michelewellsccs

This is for information purposes only. Thank you.