I am often asked questions about succession planning and the difficulties with the rigidness of the legislation governing Wills & Estates. Frankly, some of the legislation goes back to the 1800s and really has not changed much since then. It is about time our laws reflect modern society. Well finally a new Act is coming into force on March 31, 2014. The WESA is replacing the Wills Act, the Wills Variation Act, the Estate Administration Act, Probate Recognition Act and a portion of the Law & Equity Act. So what does that mean for you? Some of the highlights of the new law are as follows:
- It streamlines and simplifies Probate documents and procedures;
- reduces the age requirement to make a Will from 19 to 16 years;
- provides courts with more flexibility to deal with issues relating to Wills execution which do not comply with the rules;
- courts will have increased discretion to correct Wills to ensure the deceased wishes are carried through;
- simplified process for estates under $50,000;
- the ability to use multiple Wills in estate planning;
The above list is far from exhaustive, but it shows some of the changes that in the writer’s view are definitely needed. Should you have any questions about the new WESA do not hesitate to give us a call at 604-449-7779.