The law with respect to Wills is largely set out in The Succession Law Reform Act. Ontario is a strict compliance jurisdiction, meaning that for a Will and many other steps associated with it to be valid, one must strictly comply with all of the provisions of the law.
This is in contrast with other jurisdictions such as British Columbia in which a near miss may very well score.
Cancelling or revoking a Will may only be done in accordance with Section 15 of The Succession Law Reform Act. There are only a few ways that this can be done and they are quite limited.
- Marrying after the date of your Will, unless your earlier Will contains magic words saying that this Will is made in contemplation of my marriage to x.
- Making another Will.
- In writing, specifically declaring your intention to cancel or revoke your earlier Will and it must meet the same formalities of making a Will, namely being in writing and witnessed by two persons or being completely in the handwriting of the person who wants to cancel their Will or;
- Destroying a Will by the maker of the Will or by someone else in the testator’s presence and at their direction. Burning, tearing or otherwise destroying a will are acceptable.
At our office, we often ask our clients to bring their old Will with them which we shred after the Will has been executed.