The 2011 Census data indicated that Alberta is the fastest growing province in Canada, with our population now reaching 3.6 million.  With such growth fueled by newcomers, those from other parts of the country may wonder if their will, prepared in another province, is valid here in Alberta.  Of course to provide a specific answer a review of the particular will would be necessary, however some general guidelines can be noted.

The validity of a will in Alberta is presently governed by the Wills and Succession Act.  Within that legislation, Section 39 outlines how an out-of-province will would be assessed.  Generally speaking, where a will relates to land, the question of validity will be governed by the law of the province where the land is located.  So, if you own a property in Alberta, and your Newfoundland will gives all real estate to your child, the validity of that gift will be decided according to Alberta law.

In terms of personal property (property other than real estate), validity is generally determined in accordance with the law of where the deceased person (the testator/testatrix) lived at the time of his or her death.  However, Section 42 of the Wills and Succession Act permits the “manner and formalities” of making a will to be assessed in accordance with the laws of the place where the will was made.  In other words, for personal property, if your will was drafted in accordance with the formal requirements of Ontario, where you lived at the time, its dealings with personal property will stand.

This is of course a very generalized explanation, and a review of your specific will and assets to be disposed of would be necessary to fully assess your unique situation.