Since BC’s Wills, Estates and Succession Act (WESA) and
accompanying Supreme Court Probate Rules came into force on March
31, we have been working with our counterparts in the Probate
Registry to clarify some of the new procedural requirements. One of
the things we have puzzled over, relating to the timing of the
beneficiary notice, has been clarified by a recent court
Rule 25-2 requires notice of an intended estate grant
application in Form P1 to be sent to beneficiaries, next of kin,
and sometimes others, “at least 21 days before submitting for
filing” the application materials. When the application
materials are submitted, they must include an affidavit of delivery
in Form P9. This affidavit confirms that the notice has been sent
as required, but the prescribed form does not require the person
making the affidavit to say when they sent the notice.
So when the Registry receives an application, they have
confirmation that the notice was given, but they may not be able to
tell when. In discussions within our firm we had speculated that
perhaps Registry staff would not concern themselves with policing
the 21 day rule, and it would instead be on the “honor
However, Master Caldwell has clarified in the DaviesEstate decision that the registrar
must be satisfied that the 21 day notice period has passed. As a
result of this decision, we are changing our practice to modify the
Form P9 affidavit to include the date of mailing (variations to the
prescribed forms are permitted under Rule 22-3(1)).
As an aside, I am less than thrilled with the impact of the 21
day notice requirement on the estate administration process. The
underlying rationale – to give interested parties a
reasonable period to respond before an application is processed
– is sound. But since volume of applications prevents Probate
Registry staff from reviewing most applications within 21 days in
any event (the Vancouver Registry currently has a 3 month backlog),
an additional 3 week wait before submitting seems an unnecessary
further delay. It would make more sense if the Rules allowed the
application to be submitted immediately but prohibited the Registry
from issuing the grant until 21 days after the notice date. I hope
that the Government will consider changing this rule in the
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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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