Issue 443, July 2018

discussing the state of your clients’ wills

A January 23, 2018 article (Half of Canadians don’t have a will: report) cites an Angus Reid Institute report which indicates 51% of Canadians have no will, and only 35% have one that is up to date. Quebec and British Columbia lead the provinces, with 58% and 54% of residents respectively having wills. Less than 50% of residents of all other provinces have wills. This report is also discussed in a January 23, 2018 CTV News article (Majority of Canadians don’t have a will: poll).

Also, a February 26, 2018 McLennan Ross blog post (The Importance of Signing, by Andrea MacLean) discussed a recent Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench case (Edmunds Estate, 2017 AQBQ 754) which addressed whether an unsigned will was valid. The Court concluded that it could accept an unsigned will only where there is “clear and convincing evidence” that the deceased intended to sign and failed to do so only by pure mistake.

Note that wills and estates law varies by province.

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