Wills Made Before March 31, 2014 Need Strict Compliance

Posted: November 24, 2015 in Estate Planning, Reblogged

Wills made before March 31, 2014 , are still subject to the strict compliance rules that existed prior to when WESA came.

Source: Wills Made Before March 31, 2014 Need Strict Compliance

The deceased died in 2011 leaving a 1974 will that was unsigned. The court found it void as the curative provisions of s 58 WESA do not apply to deaths before March 31, 2014.


The Law For Deaths  Prior to March 31, 2014  re Wills

It was well-settled in British Columbia, prior to the enactment of the WESA, that it was necessary to strictly comply with the statutorily prescribed formalities for creating a will. The courts have no discretion in waiving those requirements. In Ellis v. Turner (1997), 43 B.C.L.R. 283 (C.A.), the Court of Appeal commented on these strict compliance provisions, at 285:

The Wills Act creates a scheme designed to insure that a document purporting to be a testamentary disposition is in fact the will of the testator. A strong indicia of authenticity is proof that the will was signed at its end in the presence of witnesses. This Court must interpret, apply and respect the law as passed by the legislature. To declare the will in this case to be valid would be to by-pass the clear provisions of the Wills Act and to create a discretion in this Court which is not found in the Act. This is something which we cannot do.

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