Variation of Wills

 

In our province the Supreme Court has the ability to vary a will pursuant to the Wills, Estates and Succession Act. Spouses and children of the will-maker (formerly known as the testator or testatrix) are entitled to pursue a court action for a greater share of an estate.

Spouse is defined as a person who is married to the will-maker. For non-married persons this includes a person who lives with the will-maker in a marriage-like relationship, including a relationship between persons of the same gender, and has lived in that relationship for a period of at least two years.

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Division of Family Property and Debt

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In many ways the division of family property and debt following a separation can be both simple and complex.  It can be a simple process as the division of family property and debt is governed by our Family Law Act and the framework of the legislation is based on the concept that assets and debt accumulated during a marriage or relationship is prima facie divided equally upon separation or divorce.  However, some assets that are accumulated during the relationship such as through an inheritance or gift are considered ‘excluded property’ that is not subject to a division with a spouse.  Likewise, assets brought into a marriage or relationship by one spouse are also excluded property and only the increase in value of the asset during the relationship is divided with a spouse.

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