Date: 03 Mar, 2023| Author: Fred Streiman

One of the underused statutes in the area of Estate Litigation and Probate is The Estates Act.  This 52 paragraph Act lives in the shadow of its substantial brother The Succession Law Reform Act.

However, it contains many useful tools to those involved in a fight over probate and the validity of a Will. One of those tools is forcing the production of a Will. This remedy exists in section 9 of The Estates Act. Whether or not there is an existing court action or even if someone is seeking or not seeking probate, a person may apply to the court by way of a motion and ask the court to order the production of the Will.

The Act also gives the court the authority to force a person that you believe knew or has any information with respect to the existence of a Will to be examined in open court or before the registrar or any other person as the court may direct.

Often in a fight over probate and the validity of a Will, there is an earlier or perhaps later document that is lurking in the background. These are useful tools when one suspects that there is more than what has been produced or someone knows more than they are telling and need to be forced to release that information.