New Wills Legislation

The New Wills and Succession Act, RSA 2010, c. W-12.2 replaces the Wills Act, the Intestate Succession Act, and several other Acts. The Wills and Succession Act introduces significant changes to the law of Wills. Some of these changes are as follows:

  • A marriage will not revoke a Will;
  • A testamentary gift to an ex-spouse or ex-partner is void;
  • A minor, authorized by the court, can make a Will;
  • A court, with good reason, can dispense with formal requirements of a Will;
  • A gift is void if to an individual who signs on behalf of a testator or to an interpreter who provides translation services in the will-making process;
  • The Court can add to or delete from the Will, if it is convinced that the Will did not reflect the testator’s intention;
  • The entirety of an intestate Estate will go to the surviving spouse or adult interdependent partner if all descendents are the descendents of both;
  • A Will can designate or revoke a named beneficiary of a retirement plan;
  • A family member who is 18 to 21 years of age and a full-time student can, as other dependents, apply for part of the Estate if inadequately provided for in the Will;
  • A spouse or partner of the deceased has a right to occupy the family home for 90 days following death; and
  • Generally, the Court has broader powers to make discretionary decisions in regard to a Will or an Estate.

The new Wills and Succession Act will affect only those Wills written after the Act comes into force. However, it could affect certain matters of probate, administration, and litigation for Estates if a person dies after the legislation comes into force.

If you would like to discuss the implications of the new law in regard to your Estate matters, please set up an appointment with our Wills and Estates team at Quantz Law Group. Our up-to-date lawyers will provide current advice in a changing legal landscape.

NOTICE TO READER: The summaries of legal rights and remedies described above are general references to the Alberta laws existing at the date of the publication and may not apply to the reader’s individual circumstances. Also, the laws may change. These legal summaries are not to be relied upon as applicable to your individual circumstances and are subject to a complete review of the facts and applicable laws in every case.