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Monday, June 21, 2010

Can a minor make a valid Will?

The general rule is that a person has to be an adult to make a Will. However, one of my favourite general rules is that general rules have exceptions (we won't debate the logic of that last sentence!). A minor may legally make a valid Will if:

  • he or she is a member of the Canadian Forces and is on active service;

  • he or she is a mariner or seaman on active service;

  • he or she is a member of any other naval, land or air force on active service;

  • he or she is married;

  • he or she has an adult interdependent partner (Alberta only);

  • he or she is in a common law relationship; or

  • he or she has children.

A person in the Forces should obtain a certificate or other proof that he or she was actively serving at the time the Will was made. To make sure it stays with the Will, simply staple them together.

Where a person is a minor, is not married or in a common law relationship and has children, he or she can make a Will only to the extent that he or she is making a bequest to the children or to the benefit of the children.

As with people over the age of majority, a minor who makes a Will must have the mental capability to make a Will.

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