The Supreme Court of British Columbia is the province's superior trial court. The Supreme Court is a court of general and inherent jurisdiction which means that it can hear any type of case, civil or criminal. It hears most appeals from the Provincial Court in civil and criminal cases and appeals from arbitrations. A party may appeal a decision of the Supreme Court to the Court of Appeal.
February 21, 2014
WILLS ESTATES AND SUCCESSION ACT
The Wills Estates and Succession Act (“WESA”) comes into force on March 31, 2014.
With the goal of modernizing the law and reducing the number of Acts that deal with estate law to one, WESA replaces the following Acts:
- Estate Administration Act, RSBC 1996, c.122
- Probate Recognition Act, RSBC 1996, c.376
- Wills Act, RSBC 1996, c. 489
- Wills Variation Act, RSBC 1996, c. 490
In addition, WESA repeals certain sections of the following Acts:
- Law and Equity Act, RSBC, c. 253, s. 46, 49, 50 &51
- Survivorship and Presumption of Death Act, RSBC 1996, c. 444, s .2
NEW PROBATE RULES
New rules dealing with probate and estate administration will take effect on March 31, 2014 (“the effective date”). The new probate rules are Part 25 of the BC Supreme Court Civil Rules and replace Rules 21-4 and 21-5.
Most of the court forms and procedures that were in place prior to March 31, 2014 will change under WESA and the new probate rules.
A summary of the new probate and administration rules may be found on the Ministry of Justice website in a document titled Explanation of the New Supreme Court Civil Rules (Probate).
If an application was filed before the effective date under a former probate rule and met all the requirements of the former rules, the application is deemed to continue under the new probate rules.
As of March 31, 2014, all filings respecting an estate will be under the new probate rules and the registry will reject the former probate forms.
Where an application for an estate grant is made after WESA comes into effect, the new probate rules will apply even where the person died prior to the effective date.
Under section 185 of WESA, the following parts will apply to deaths occurring on or after the date on which those parts come into force:
- Part 2 - Fundamental Rules
- Part 3 - When a Person Dies Without a Will
- Part 6 - Administration of Estates
Section 186 will apply only if the Will-Maker (formerly testator) dies on or after the date on which Part 4 comes into force, but does not invalidate a will validly made before the effective date nor revive a will validly revoked before the effective date.
Section 187 will apply to designations (whenever made) if the participant dies on or after the effective date.
Under section 188, administration and probate grants granted under the Estate Administration Act will be deemed to be valid under WESA.
Section 189 will apply to wills made on or after the effective date.
Finally, the court may give any transitional directions or make any orders with respect to an Act
repealed by WESA
February 21, 2014
WELCOMING CEREMONY - MADAM JUSTICE DUNCAN AND MADAM JUSTICE SHARMA - MARCH 14, 2014
The Welcoming Ceremony for the Honourable Madam Justice Jennifer M.I. Duncan and the Honourable Madam Justice Neena Sharma will be held on Friday, March 14, 2014 at the Vancouver Law Courts in Courtroom 55 at 4:15 p.m. Members of the public are invited to attend the Welcoming Ceremony and cameras are permitted.
February 20, 2014
WELCOMING CEREMONY - MR. JUSTICE MACINTOSH AND MR. JUSTICE KENT - MARCH 27, 2014
The Welcoming Ceremony for the Honourable Mr. Justice George Macintosh and the Honourable Mr. Justice Nigel P. Kent will be held on Thursday, March 27, 2014 in Courtroom 55 at the Vancouver Law Courts at 9:15 a.m. Members of the public are invited to attend the Welcoming Ceremony and cameras are permitted.