Wills Act (amended)
BILL NO. 11
3rd Session, 62nd General Assembly
65 Elizabeth II, 2016
Private Member's Bill
The Honourable Sterling Belliveau
First Reading: October 14, 2016
This Bill amends the Wills Act to create a registry into which may be deposited for safekeeping the wills of living testators.
Be it enacted by the Governor and Assembly as follows:
1 Chapter 505 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Wills Act, is amended by adding immediately after Section 31 the following heading and Sections:
31A In Sections 31B to 31F,
(a) "registrar" has the same meaning as in the Probate Act;
(b) "registry" means the registry established under Section 31B.
31B Subject to Section 31G, the Minister of Justice shall maintain a registry of wills deposited with the registrars under Section 31C.
31C (1) Subject to Section 31G, where a person has executed a will, the executed will may be deposited with a registrar for safekeeping.
(2) A person depositing a will under subsection (1) shall
(a) provide to the registrar, in a form satisfactory to the registrar, the information prescribed by the regulations; and
(b) pay the fee prescribed by the regulations.
(3) Subject to Section 31G, a registrar shall receive and keep safe those wills deposited under subsection (1).
31D (1) While the testator is living, no person may remove, copy or inspect a will on deposit with the registry, except
(a) the testator;
(b) a guardian of the testator's property;
(c) a person authorized in writing by the testator; or
(d) a person authorized by an order of a court.
(2) Where the testator is deceased, any person may copy or inspect a will of the testator on deposit with the registry upon filing a written request stating the testator's date of birth and a certificate in respect of the registration of the testator's death issued under the Vital Statistics Act.
(3) Where a person inspecting a will under subsection (2) so requests and pays the fee prescribed by the regulations, a registrar shall provide to the person a copy of the will, certified to be a true copy by the registrar.
(4) Where the testator is deceased, a registrar shall
(a) upon the filing of a written request stating the testator's date of birth and of a certificate in respect of the registration of the testator's death issued under the Vital Statistics Act, deliver the will of the testator that is on deposit to the executor named in the will, or to such other person as a court may direct; and
(b) retain a copy of the will, certified to be a true copy by the registrar, and the receipt of the person to whom the will is delivered.
31E For greater certainty, the failure to deposit or the depositing of a will under Section 31C does not affect the validity of a will or of the revocation of a will.
31F (1) The Governor in Council may make regulations
(a) prescribing the information that is to be provided to a registrar when depositing a will;
(b) prescribing the fee that is to be paid when
(i) depositing a will with a registrar, or
(ii) obtaining a certified true copy of a will from a registrar;
(c) respecting the keeping, custody, disposal, destruction and indexing of wills deposited under Section 31C, including wills that have been
(ii) probated, or
(iii) kept on deposit for more than one hundred and twenty-five years;
(d) respecting any matter or thing the Governor in Council considers necessary or advisable to effectively carry out the intent and purpose of Sections 31A to 31E.
(2) The exercise by the Governor in Council of the authority contained in subsection (1) is a regulation within the meaning of the Regulations Act.
31G The money required for the purpose of Sections 31B and 31C must be paid out of money appropriated for that purpose by the Legislature.
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