WESA #11- Definition of Will Expanded Due to Power of Court to Cure Defects

Definition of Will :

(a)    a will,

(b)       a testament,

(c)        a codicil,

(d)       an appointment by will or by writing in the nature of a will in exercise of a power,

(e)       anything ordered to be effective as a will under section 58 [court order curing deficiencies], or

(f)        any other testamentary disposition except the following: (i)     a designation under Part 5 [Benefit Plans];

(ii)    a designation of a beneficiary under Part 3 [Life Insurance] or Part 4 [Accident

and Sickness Insurance] of the Insurance Act, (iii)   a testamentary disposition governed specifically by another enactment or

law of British Columbia or of another jurisdiction in or outside Canada;

[am. 2011 -6-1. 2. 3, 4, 5. effective June 2, 2011.]

This new definition of will is expanded beyond the Wills Act definition of “a testament, a codicil, an appointment by will or by writing in the nature of a will in exercise of a power and any other testamentary disposition” to include defectively executed documents admitted to probate under the curative dispensing power in s. 58.


Secondly,it  expressly excludes instruments that depend on death for their operation which are governed by other parts of the WESA or other enactments, such as beneficiaries of insurance.

 A “will-maker” means a person who makes a will, replacing the words testator and testatrix.

A ”testamentary instrument” means a will or designation or a document naming a person to receive a payment or series of payments on death under a plan or arrangement

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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