Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Canada

entitled to view deceased fathers will?

My father passed unexpectedly in whiterock bc. I believe a will was left. Am I entitled to view this as He had told me he would leave something to all his kids and step kids.Does a will become public document after death? He owned 3 pieces of property 2 in Canada, one in florida. Step mother is offering no information. Would I be contacted if anything is to be left to me, would she be able to collect fathers assest without making his natural children aware?

Asked on 9/08/05, 9:34 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Robert Maguire Maguire & Company

Re: entitled to view deceased fathers will?

In B.C., if an application is made to probate your father's estate, you are supposed to receive a written notice (it is a court-specified form) that the application is being made, who is making it and where it is being made. The probate documents can be accessed at the B.C. Supreme Court registry where the application is made which I believe would be either in New Westminster or Vancouver in your father's case. This would include a copy of the Will.

An executor does not have to make application for probate if an estate is of little value. If your father held sole title to any real estate, then a probate application must be made in order to transfer title to the real estate. However if your father held title as a joint tenant with another person, the asset passes directly to the other person and does not pass throught the deceased's estate.

If your father died without a Will, then our Estate Administration Act applies, and the assets are distributed according to the spouse and children of the deceased using a formula set out in the Act.

If your father did have a Will, then any child is entitled to apply to the Court, under our Wills Variation Act, to vary the terms of the Will if the child feels that he/she was not adequately provided for in the Will.

You would do well to consult with a lawyer in White Rock or a neigbouring community for a fuller explanation.

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Answered on 9/09/05, 12:19 am

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