Garton & Harris

Some properties may not be susceptible to ademption

Individuals who are planning their estates in British Columbia may want to be aware of what items may and may not be adeemed after their death. Generally, when a piece of property that is to be gifted to a beneficiary is disposed of or is removed from the will-maker's possession, whether voluntarily or not, the gifting of that property fails. That failure of the gifting of the property is known as ademption.

There are some items, however, that could possibly be excluded from being adeemed. If, for example, a nominee disposes of the property that is meant to be gifted, an amount equal to the value of the property may be paid to the beneficiary from the will-maker's estate.

A nominee may be a number of entities, including a representative acting under an agreement, an attorney or a committee acting under the Patients Property Act. If, however, the property is disposed of on orders of the will-maker while they were alive and able to make decisions, then the gifting of the property will still fail.

Someone who is in the midst of planning their estate may wish to work closely with an experienced estate planning lawyer. A lawyer may be able to help a client in determining which properties to include on a will and which properties could be subject to ademption. A lawyer could also help to prepare the necessary documents and assist an individual in choosing the most beneficial choices to make in order to leave their beneficiaries well taken care of.

Source: CLE BC, "H. Exceptions to Ademption", October 23, 2014

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