Multiple Wills – Important Notification

Written by: Victoria E. Winter



The recent Superior Court decision of “Re Milne” has brought into issue the validity of certain language commonly used in multiple wills, often referred to as “Primary and Secondary Wills”.

Primary and Secondary Wills are used as an estate planning technique to minimize Estate Administration Tax (probate fees) that may be payable on death.  Although the decision did not invalidate the concept of multiple Wills, it found that certain wording in the Wills invalidated the Primary Will because it provided the executors with the discretion to determine which assets are governed by each Will.

While the decision is being appealed, it is not likely to be heard for some time.

If you have multiple Wills in effect and are interested in discussing changes to your Wills during this interim period pending the results of the appeal, please contact your lawyer at Beard Winter LLP or any member of our Wills, Trusts and Estates Group.