Updates to Bill 245 take effect for estates laws

Happy New Year! Let’s hope 2022 brings hope and health to all. One thing is for certain: it is already bringing change.

On April 19, 2021, Bill 245, known as the Accelerating Access to Justice Act, 2021, received royal assent. Schedule 9 to Bill 245 brings significant changes to the Succession Law Reform Act, RSO 1990, c S. 26 (“SLRA”). In addition to remote execution and witnessing of Wills in counterpart, which came into force and effect in 2021, there are four updates that are effective January 1, 2022. In high-level terms, they are as follows:

  • Marriage no longer revokes a Will;
  • Gifts in a Will made to separated spouses, as defined in the Success Law Reform Act (SLRA), are revoked;
  • The Superior Court has new authority to order that a Will is valid, even if it was not properly executed in accordance with the SLRA; and
  • Separated spouses are no longer entitled to inherit under the laws of intestacy.

As with life in general, our laws have many moving parts. Don’t forget to review your estate planning to ensure that it reflects your current situation. Remember: we’re always here to help.

Cate Grainger is an Estate Lawyer in London with the Harrison Pensa Wills, Estates, Trusts, and Charities Law Group. Her practice focuses on estate planning, estate administration, corporate succession strategies and not-for-profit law. Contact Cate by email or phone at (519) 661-6751.