Genetic Testing to Determine Distribution of Murdered Vancouverite’s Estate
A young girl from China is eagerly awaiting test results of genetic testing that could mean that she is entitled to inherit her biological father’s $50 million fortune.
Gang Yuan, whom the child’s mother states is her biological father, was recently murdered in the Vancouver area. The mother of his alleged biological daughter had a short-term romantic relationship with Gang, who was apparently aware that a baby girl had resulted.
Under the BC Wills, Estates and Succession Act, as the only child of Gang, the young girl in China would be the sole beneficiary of Gang’s estate, as he did not leave a valid Last Will and Testament and was unmarried at the time of his death. In Ontario, the Succession Law Reform Act similarly provides that, if a parent dies intestate and is survived by no married spouse and only one child, that child will inherit the parent’s entire estate.
There has been some resistance to the genetic testing by Gang’s other family members, who wanted to have his body cremated. However, just over two weeks ago, the British Columbia Supreme Court ordered DNA testing of Gang’s remains, which were chopped into more than 100 pieces.
Last year, Ian Hull and I co-authored a paper about fertility law from an estates perspective. An interesting point that we considered was whether the same conclusion as may be reached in Vancouver could be drawn when a sperm or egg donor becomes a biological parent of a child with whom he/she either may or may not maintain a relationship, in the instances of intestacy or class gifts. The law remains unclear on this point, but will likely develop with increasing rates of infertility and use of donor genetic materials.
The results of the genetic testing with respect to the beneficiary of Gang Yan’s estate are scheduled to be released within the month.
Have a great long weekend!