Monday, March 31, 2014

Wills, Estates and Succession Act in Force Today

The Wills, Estates and Succession Act came into force today, as did Part 25 of the Supreme Court Civil Rules which amends the procedures for probate and other estate applications.

This legislation and the rule changes significantly reform British Columbia's succession laws and procedures.

As I have written before, most (but not all) of the provisions of the Wills, Estates and Succession Act apply in respect of the estates of persons who die today or in the future. The rule changes will apply to applications made today or later, regardless of the date of death.

As I wrote a three weeks ago, Bill 14 will make some changes to the Act if the Bill is passed and implemented. A few days ago, on March 25, 2014, Order in Council No. 126 amended the wording of the Rules.

Some good resources concerning WESA and the rule changes, include this Ministry of Justice Website, and the Courthouse Library Society's Wills and Estates Practice Portal.


Anonymous said...

It is very confusing about what probate documents to file after March 31st. If someone dies before March 31st, then the old law is in place. But if the application for probate is made after March 31st (despite the person dying before March 31st) then the new documents must be filed. The new documents mention all of the new WESA law so this is inconsistent with the old law being in place if someone dies before March 31st. Your comments regarding this would be greatly appreciated.

Stan Rule said...

I agree with you. For example the notice sent to beneficiaries and certain other interested parties refer to their rights under WESA, even though the legislation that was in place before WESA will govern their rights if the person died before March 31, 2014. This is bound to cause confusion. But I would still use the current form prescribed by the Rules.