Kushner Law Group

Vancouver Estate Lawyers Discuss Witnesses, Gifts, and WESA

Vancouver estate lawyers publish blog on the validity of gifts to witnesses


Vancouver, BC -- (ReleaseWire) -- 10/30/2018 --Gift giving in wills seems relatively straightforward, but the Vancouver estate lawyers at Kushner Law want people to be aware there are limitations. In BC, the Wills Estates and Succession Act ("WESA") governs legislation with respect to the litigation determining the validity of gifts made in Wills. If a named beneficiary is also a witness to the will, complications will arise. For more, go to: http://www.kushnerlaw.ca/wesa-witnesses-and-gifts/

When will-makers prepare their will without the assistance of an estate lawyer or other legal counsel, it can be easy to overlook prohibitions.

According to s. 43 of WESA, gifts to witnesses are prohibited:

43 (1) Unless a court otherwise declares under subsection (4), a gift in a will is void if it is to

(a) a witness to the will-maker's signature or to the spouse of that witness,
(b) a person signing the will by the will-maker's direction, or the spouse of the person signing, or
(c) a person claiming under a person, other than the will-maker, referred to in paragraph (a) or (b).

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), the relevant time for determining whether one person is the spouse of another is the time when the will was made.

(3) If a gift is void under subsection (1), the remainder of the will is not affected.

(4) On application, the court may declare that a gift to a person referred to in subsection (1) is not void and is to take effect, if the court is satisfied that the will-maker intended to make the gift to the person even though the person or his or her spouse was a witness to the will.

(5) Extrinsic evidence is admissible for the purposes of establishing the will-maker's intention under subsection (4).

In other words, a beneficiary to a will who is also a witness can apply to the Court to have the gift recognized as valid by proving that the will-maker did intend to make the gift.

It's recommended that anyone who is named as a beneficiary but is having trouble inheriting due to legal matters should seek legal counsel. For anyone involved in estate litigation, the estate lawyers at Kushner Law provide a variety of services including Wills Variation, Estate Planning & Litigation.

To learn more, contact Kushner Law Group at 604-629-0432 or schedule a consultation.

About The Kushner Law Group
The Kushner Law Group was founded on the principle that a small law firm should be able to offer the same level of legal advice as a big firm at an affordable cost. A unique combination of legal experience and creativity allows the professionals at Kushner to come up with creative and practical solutions for a variety of legal problems.

For additional information, please visit http://kushnerlaw.ca/ or call 604-629-0432.

Kushner Law Group
Lars Kushner
Phone 604-629-0432 Fax 604-689-4451
Company website: http://kushnerlaw.ca/
1008 Beach Ave #105