Wills, Estates & Succession Act Resource Centre
Welcome to CLEBC's WESA Resource Centre
This portal connects legal professionals in BC with information and resources on the new Wills, Estates and Succession Act (WESA), which comes into force on March 31, 2014.
The Continuing Legal Education Society of BC is working with the BC Law Institute (BCLI) to keep legal professionals up-to-date on the legislation and Probate rules.
The Justice Statutes Amendment Act, 2014 was introduced into the legislature on March 4. The Act contains proposed amendments for several provincial statutes, including the Wills, Estates and Succession Act.
Read about the proposed amendments at https://www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/2014/03/justice-statutes-bill-introduced.html, or see the electronic version of the Justice Statues Amenedment Act at http://www.leg.bc.ca/40th2nd/1st_read/gov14-1.htm
This clip discusses Estate Administration, focusing on how to go about getting a grant to deal with an estate under the WESA. It clarifies some provisions of Part 6 of the WESA, including the priority of administrators as set-up in the legislation. This is an excerpt from from CLEBC's CLE-TV program "WESA - A Discussion of the Important Changes." Register here for the full CLE-TV rebroadcast on January 28.
Fiona Hunter was a co-chair at the recent CLEBC conference, WESA and the New Rules: Is Your Estates Practice Ready? She highlights some of the most important aspects of the WESA and some key areas to be aware of.
The new Wills Estates and Succession Act is a consolidation of long standing succession laws. It also contains many new provisions which will take time to incorporate into a wills and estate practice, particularly where the courts will need to interpret the legislative intent.
There are too many important aspects to the WESA to summarize here, but here are some examples.
• For solicitors and litigators alike, an area of particular concern is the curative and rectification powers of the courts found in sections 57 and 59 of the WESA. These provisions must change the way we practice law in the area of wills and all current procedures in both the drafting and the proving of wills should be reviewed.
• For drafters, navigating the new survivorship provisions in Part 3, Division 2 will be a challenge in the short term. There will be new opportunities to assist clients with designation of trustees for benefit plans found in Part 5 of the WESA, but the devil will be in the details.
• For litigators, a careful review of section 4 (which deals with construction of instruments) and the time lines for wills variation claims (found in section 61) should be a priority.
Until a body of case law and custom develops, the Wills, Estates and Succession Act Transition Guide is an essential resource for anyone practicing in this area.
CLEBC has been working with the leading lawyers, court officials, and Ministry officials, to prepare authoritative resources for the WESA and the new Probate Rules and Forms. The most knowledgeable WESA people have been generous in sharing their expertise, to provide you with truly effective practice resources.