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Cross-posted on the SLAW blog (www.slaw.ca)

As part of a brief endorsement dated November 3, 2009 in RE: IN THE ESTATE OF Evelyn O’Reilly, et. al., Justice D. M. Brown of the Superior Court Of Justice–Ontario provided some useful direction on the form and content of an order in applications to prove a lost will under Ontario Rule 75.02. Ontario lawyers handling this issue on estate matters will find Brown J.’s comments helpful.

The relevant part of that endorsement is as follows:

[2] My only purpose in writing this brief endorsement is to deal with the form of the order.  Since the Rules of Civil Procedure do not prescribe the form for an order made under Rule 75.02, judges see a wide range of language submitted for proposed orders proving lost wills.  In order to bring some uniformity to this type of application, I would ask applicants to submit draft orders using the language recommended several years ago by (now retired) Justice Haley.  The draft order should read:

I declare that the Will of [insert name of deceased] dated [insert date of will] has been proved and that the copy of the Will adduced in evidence shall be admitted to probate as the last Will of  [insert name of deceased] deceased, until such time as the original may be found.

I direct that, subject to the filing of the appropriate documents with the Court, a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee with a Will for the Will of [insert name of deceased] dated  [insert date of will] be issued to the applicant(s).

To this language should be added any other orders sought by the applicant, such as dispensing with service of the application, etc.

[3] Judges considering these applications are provided with a template endorsement using this language.  Therefore, in order for an applicant to avoid the delays associated with submitting a draft with different language and then having to submit a revised order that tracks the language of the endorsement signed by the judge, the language I have set out above should be used in the draft order submitted with the application record.

The decision is unreported as of today’s date, but I understand will be posted on CanLII next week. In the interim a copy of it is available here.

This came to my attention via the Ontario Bar Association Trusts and Estates Section’s list serve.