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Important Update: Wills and Succession Act and Surrogate Rules Amendment Regulation

To our valued customers who have recently purchased of one of our Wills and Estates related publications or attended one of our Wills and Estates related seminars, we wanted to provide you with this important update in this area of law.

Wills and Succession Act

As you know, the Wills and Succession Act is new legislation that consolidates the Wills Act, Intestate Succession Act, Survivorship Act, Dependants Relief Act, and section 47 of the Trustee Act. It also includes consequential amendments to various other statutes, including the Matrimonial Property Act, the Administration of Estates Act, and the Family Law Act.

Coming into Force

This legislation was passed by the legislature in December 2010; it will come into force on February 1, 2012. We have been advised that the proclamation of section 117 of the Wills and Succession Act, which deals with matrimonial property on death, will be delayed pending further discussion with the bar. This delay will provide interested Alberta lawyers the opportunity for further input into the issue of inheritance rights when there is a matrimonial property claim.

Surrogate Rules 

Amendments to the Surrogate Rules arising out of the new Wills and Succession Act prescribe a number of new forms and introduce several procedural changes. The Surrogate Rules Amendment Regulation was approved on January 19, 2012. Please see the Queen’s Printer website for the Order in Council, which includes the text of the Surrogate Rules Amendment Regulation (including forms).

Litigants or their counsel are expected to comply with the amendment starting on February 1, 2012. A reasonable grace period is expected to be observed until April 30, 2012. For further information, please refer to Notice to the Profession NP#2011-05 on the Alberta Courts website.

Resources

Subscribers to our Surrogate Forms Manual can expect to receive a comprehensive update in mid-February. The update includes the annotated Surrogate Rules, as amended, and updated forms in both print and electronic format. Subscribers to our Wills and Estates Legislation publication can also expect to receive a comprehensive update in mid-February. The update will include amendments arising out of the Wills and Succession Act changes, as well as updated Surrogate Rules.

For the official version of all legislation, rules, or forms, please visit the Queen’s Printer website.

For information on the Wills and Succession Act, please see the Alberta Justice Website at www.justice.alberta.ca/wills or email just.succession@gov.ab.ca.

For information on Legal Education Society of Alberta resources, please contact us at lesa@lesa.org, 780.420.1987, or toll free at 1.800.282.3900, or visit us online at www.lesa.org.

Thank you for your continued support of the Legal Education Society of Alberta. We wish you the best in your transition to the new Wills and Succession legislation.