What is the Residue of an Estate?

What is the Residue of an Estate?

When it comes to discussions, Wills and Estates, some of the terminology can be quite confusing for laypersons. One of the more significant terms that can arise in the course of Estate litigation is the question of what is the residue and who are the residual beneficiaries? The residue of an Estate is all of the property (both real and personal) that is not otherwise gifted to a specific beneficiary. An example of this would be if a testator (a will-maker) died with $100,000.00 in cash and made two gifts of $20,000.00 each to his friends and named his spouse as the residual beneficiary, the spouse would be entitled to the $60,000.00 residue. It is quite normal for the residue to be largest portion of the Estate. One interesting circumstance that can arise if the will has no clause for a residual or if the residual beneficiary pre-deceases the testator. In this circumstance, we look to section 44 of WESA which provides the following:


Residue Of Estate


44   If a will does not give or otherwise dispose of all of the will-maker’s property, the property that is not the subject of a gift or otherwise disposed of in the will


(a) must be distributed to the persons who would be entitled if that property were an intestate estate, and


(b) if there is no person who would be entitled under paragraph (a), passes to the government and is subject to the Escheat Act.


This means that the residue will be distributed as if the testator had died without a will.

Vancouver Wills & Estates Litigation Lawyers

If you believe that you have been wrongfully excluded from an estate or are involved in Estate litigation, contact the Kushner Law Group today to schedule a consultation.

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