Monday, October 05, 2009

Alberta Law Reform Institute Report on Wills

The Alberta Law Reform Institute recently issued its report on The Creation of Wills.

It makes a number of recommendations for changing the Alberta Wills Act:
  • A court should be able to validate a will if a person makes a reasonable but imperfect attempt to meet the requirements for creating a will
  • The age of testamentary capacity should remain at 18 years, subject to the current statutory exceptions allowing a minor to make a will if the minor is married, partnered, a parent or serving in the Canadian Forces. In addition, a court should be able to validate a will for any minor who applies for approval of the terms of a specific will
  • A court should not be able to create a will for a person who has lost their mental capacity to make or change a will
  • There should continue to be special rules for military wills
  • A will must still be signed at its end or foot, subject to the current statutory saving provision
  • Where an inheritance is lost because the beneficiary was also a witness to the will, a court should be able to validate the gift if there was no improper or undue influence on the will-maker
For many of the issues listed above, the report examines the legislative situation in other Canadian jurisdictions, as well as in Australia, England and New Zealand.

The Alberta Law Reform Institute was established in 1968 by the Attorney General of Alberta, the Governors of the University of Alberta and the Law Society of Alberta. Its role is to conduct research into law and the administration of justice and to promote law reform.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:34 pm


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