Unsigned Draft Will Refused Probate

The only thing surprising about this decision from a British Columbia perspective is that it actually proceeded to court.

The solicitor prepared the draft will and advised the deceased in writing that she was to make an appointment to come in and sign it.

The deceased never did execute the draft will, and despite this, her relatives brought application for admission into probate of the unsigned document, purporting it to be her last will and testament.

The application for probate was dismissed.

The court ruled that a draft will could not be admitted to probate as it would fail the proper requirements of execution.

In Saskatchewan there needs to be at least some attempt at execution of a formal will.

It was not clear to the court that the document express the final wishes of the deceased, as the document was specifically noted as being draft subject to revisions.

There was no evidence that the deceased was confused as to the need to sign the will, as the solicitor’s letter was clear and unequivocal as to the requirement for further action on the part of the deceased.

Trevor Todd

Trevor Todd is one of the province’s most esteemed estate litigation lawyers. He has spent more than 40 years helping the disinherited contest wills and transfers – and win. From his Kerrisdale office, which looks more like an eclectic art gallery than a lawyer’s office, Trevor empowers claimants and restores dignity to families across BC. He is a mentor to young entrepreneurs and an art buff who supports starving artists the world over. He has an eye for talent and a heart for giving back.

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