Chapter 4: Order of devolution of successions

(articles 666-683) Read the articles on CanLii.


  • Section 1: Devolution to the surviving spouse and to descendants
  • Section 2: Devolution to the surviving spouse and to privileged ascendants or collaterals
  • Section 3: Devolution to ordinary ascendants and collaterals

This chapter contains rules determining the proportion of the estate each relative receives. The articles in all the sections have been diagrammed together below.

The image below is the first diagram, a simple one that closely follows the order of the articles in the code.

Further analysis shows two categories of rules:
– Rules on the proportion of the estate each group of relatives (spouse, descendants, collaterals) inherits (ex: descendants take 2/3)
– Rules on the proportion inherited by each member of the group (ex: descendants share in equal portion by head)

The graph below is a re-working of the one above into an easy-to-follow flowchart.

This chart can be further simplified with simple diagrams:

Diagram representing the members of different groups of relatives defined in the Code. Colour legend is shown in next diagram.

Venn diagram showing share by group of surviving relative. Note: descendants have priority, so apply the other circles only if there are no descendants.

Simple version of the above diagram.