Today on Hull on Estates, David M. Smith and Stuart Clark discuss limitation periods and Applications to Pass Accounts, and whether there could be a scenario whereby certain objections raised within an Application to Pass Accounts could be statute barred as a result of the expiry of any limitation period.
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There is the view by some that issues surrounding the interpretations of Wills can be mind-numbing. From time to time I tend to enjoy dusting off my book of consolidated estate statutes and reviewing some of the basic tenets of estate law, which makes our area of practice so dynamic.
The issue of a failed gift is a common subject in the context of will interpretations. The Ontario Legislature has considered failed gifts in sections 23 and 31 of the Succession Law Reform Act.
In essence, Section 23 states that unless a contrary intention appears in the subject-will, when a devisee or legatee predeceases the testator, the failed gift falls into the residue of the testator’s estate.
Section 31 is commonly referred to as the "anti-lapse provision." Section 31 prevents devises or bequests from failing by virtue of the devisee or legatee predeceasing the testator. In such a scenario, a gift is saved if the devise or bequest was left for a child, grand-child, brother or sister of the testator and the pre-deceased devisee or legatee died leaving a spouse or issue who survived the testator. If these conditions have been met, the devise or bequest will not fall into the residue, however it will take effect as if it had been made directly to the spouse or issue of predeceased devisee or legatee.
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