Curing Deficiencies in a Will – Examples from Other Provinces


As we have previously discussed, section 58 of the Wills, Estates and Succession Act allows the Court to declare that a writing, document, or record that does not meet the formal requirements for the execution of wills is, nonetheless, fully effective as a will.  This is a substantial change to the law in our province.  The following are examples of documents that were found to be fully effective as a will (or revocation of a will) under the Manitoba or Saskatchewan provisions, which are similar to section 58:

  • Prefontaine v. Arbuthnott – partially completed pre-typed will form with handwritten insertions.
  • McNeil v. Snidor Estate – a will with one witness, who did not see the will-maker sign the document.
  • Roelofs Estate, Re – writing “void” on the original and copies of the will had the effect of revoking the will.
  • Porohowski v. Kalyniuk Estate – deceased wrote “this is not my last Will it is revoked” and initialed it, which had the effect of revoking the will.
  • McDermid Estate – husband and wife signed the wrong wills.  The husband’s will and his signature on the will he mistakenly signed were admitted to probate.
  • Swanson Estate – black marker and initials crossing out a gift in a will revoked the gift.

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