Intestacy (16A:VII)

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A. Generally

If a person dies intestate (without a valid will), his or her assets are distributed to intestate successors in accordance with WESA. Where a will exists but does not cover all assets, there will be a partial intestacy and those assets outside the will that do not pass by contract or survivorship will pass according to WESA. Distribution

1. Spouses

Under WESA, it is possible to have more than one spouse.

The spouse of the deceased is always entitled to a preferential share of the estate, as well as the “household furnishings” defined as the personal property usually associated with the enjoyment by the spouses of the spousal home (WESA s 21(1)).

If there are two or more spouses, they must agree as to how to divide the preferential share, otherwise it will be determined by the courts (WESA s 22).

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