Legacy Society News: The Power to Rectify a Will
This ad ran last month in the Canadian Cancer Society, B.C. and Yukon Division’s Legacy Society News. It originally appeared in the Richmond News on May 11, 2012.
The Supreme Court of B.C. has limited power to rectify (or “fix”) a Will where a mistake was made in the contents.
Earlier this week, reasons for judgment were released in a case called Re Verity. The Executrix of the Will applied to the Court for an Order rectifying the Will of the deceased, who died in June, 2010. The Will itself was made in 2003.
In the Will, half of the residue was to be divided among a group of ten nieces and nephews. The other half was to go to a group of four children of one of the nieces of the deceased.
The Executor took the view that the Will should actually have expressed that the residue be divided into eleven parts, and only one of those eleven parts divided among the group of four children.
In a very well written judgment, the Court held that the evidence established that the deceased had really instructed the drafting Lawyer to divide the residue of the Estate into the eleven shares and the group of four children would receive only one share, rather than half the residue.
In this case, the difference for the four children was obviously significant. But it is important to know that, on occasion, the Court can repair an error made in a Will, to arrive at the truth of how the deceased really wanted the Estate distributed.