As new estate legislation takes effect, the British Columbia Ministry of Justice is advising those without a will to make one, and those that already have one to consider updating it in light of the new rules.
The province has declared it Make-a-Will Week in B.C., following new legislation regarding wills and estates that came into force yesterday, March 31. The new legislation streamlines several acts governing wills and estates into a new single act, and aims to make estate planning easier, while also modernizing inheritance and succession planning laws. New probate rules also come into effect in conjunction with the legislation.
“The new law makes estate planning simpler and easier for the general public to understand,” the government says.
However, the Investment Industry Association of Canada (IIAC) has warned that the new may have unintended consequences for investors, as certain provisions appear to clash with investment industry rules, practices, and tax treatments for registered accounts.
Nevertheless, the government indicates that 45% of adults in the province don’t have a will; and it suggests they prepare one. For those that already have a will, it notes that the new legislation does not invalidate them, but, given that some of the laws governing the interpretation of wills have changed, it suggests that, “individuals who already have a will may choose to have it reviewed by a lawyer to ensure their wishes are upheld.”
“Make-a-Will Week is a reminder to citizens to put their last wishes in writing and the Wills, Estates and Succession Act has made doing so easier than ever,” said the province’s attorney general and minister of justice, Suzanne Anton.