We previously blogged about how an executor proves the proper execution of a will. In discussing the topic, we referred to the decision of Hsia v. Yen-Zimmerman.
This week, the Court of Appeal upheld the trial decision. The Court of Appeal confirmed that unless there are suspicious circumstances or evidence to the contrary, a trial judge is entitled to rely on two rebuttable presumptions:
- the execution of the will complied with the requirements of s. 4 of the Wills Act; and
- the testator was aware of and approved the contents of the will.
This decision provides comfort to executors where the will is many years old, and the witnesses to the execution of the will have either died or can no longer be found.