New Alberta Last Will Laws are changing…
In case you’re wondering, here are some of the changes that are going to take effect in Alberta starting February 1, 2012 with the Province’s Wills laws:
Revocation of Wills
Previously, a Testator / Testatrix entering into an adult interdependent partner agreement would cancel out a previously-made Will – unless there was declaration in the Will that it is made in contemplation of entering into that adult interdependent partner agreement: sections 16 and 17.1 of the old Wills Act. Section 23(2)(b) of the Wills and Succession Act clarifies, however, that “no will or part of a will is revoked by the testator entering into an adult interdependent relationship”.
Also, previously, a Testator / Testatrix getting married would cancel out a previously-made Will – unless there was a declaration in the Will that it is made in contemplation of a marriage to a particular person: sections 16 and 17 of the old Wills Act. That said, section 23(2)(a) of the Wills and Succession Act clarifies that “no will or part of a will is revoked by the marriage of the testator”.
Rectifying a Will
Previously, a court’s power to rectify mistakes in a Will was not very clear.
You see, a Will is only valid if the Testator / Testatrix knew and approved of its content. If words have been mistakenly inserted into a Will without such knowledge or approval, then a court may strike out those specific passages or phrases. But the Court’s ability to add or substitute words was not covered in the old Wills Act.
But with the new Wills and Succession Act, a Court could rectify a Will by adding or deleting characters, words, or provisions specific by the Court BUT ONLY if the Court is satisfied, on clear and convincing evidence, that the Will is problematic (i.e. doesn’t reflect the Testator / Testatrix’ intentions) because of an accidental slip, omission or mis-description: section 39(1) of the Wills and Succession Act.
A Court could also rectify a Will if there is a misunderstanding of, or a failure to give effect to, the Testator / Testatrix’ instructions by a person who prepared the Will: section 39(2) of the Wills and Succession Act.
There are other changes that are coming to Alberta’s Wills laws and they’re covered in the eBook that comes with your purchase of an Alberta Last Will and Testament…