The new Wills, Estates and Succession Act
("WESA") comes into force this month, after many years of
waiting. There are many changes to the current law and we
will need to be extra diligent in carrying out our estate planning
and estate administration to ensure compliance with the
If you are administering an Estate where the deceased had a
Committee or other personal representative (such as an Attorney
under a Power of Attorney), there is an important change relating
to property that is specifically gifted in the will.
Take, for example, will-maker "William". Some
years before his death, William was not capable of managing his
affairs, and a Committee (substitute decision maker) was appointed
for him. William owned a 1963 split window Corvette. The
Committee sold the Corvette when William moved into a care home,
for $125,000. When William dies, we see that his will gifted his
Corvette to his friend Brian.
Before WESA, Brian, as the beneficiary of a specific asset
that no longer formed part of the Estate, would receive
nothing. Under WESA, however, Brian will receive from the
Estate the amount equivalent to the proceeds of the Corvette
This is a significant change, but there is one caveat.
Where the will-maker instructs his or her Attorney to sell an asset
during his or her lifetime that is specifically gifted in the will,
then the gift in the will fails – the beneficiary will not
receive the equivalent amount to the sale proceeds.
The change in WESA is consistent with the overall thrust of
this new legislation to facilitate the fulfillment of the
will-maker's intentions wherever possible.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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On March 31, 2014, BC's new Wills, Estates and Succession Act1 ("WESA") will come into force. WESA introduces new protections for beneficiaries of estates that are in danger of being disputed or deemed ineffective by a court.
It is not uncommon for parents to provide monetary gifts to their adult children. Parents may wish to help their child with a down payment on a property, or help pay out their child's existing mortgage.
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