“Re Milne” case affects multiple-will planning to avoid Ontario probate
Who Does This Affect?
Ontario residents who have private corporations and what’s known as multiple or dual wills or primary and secondary wills or personal and corporate wills need to be aware of this new court judgement. Many of these types of wills include a structure aimed at avoiding Ontario probate tax on the shares of privately held stock of such corporations upon the death of the shareholder.
The “Re Milne” decision has not invalidated the concept of multiple Wills. However, it held that the particular wording in the Wills before the Court invalidated the Primary Will because of the manner in which the assets covered by that Will were defined. It is not clear whether this case will affect the validity of all types of multiple Wills.
If you are an Ontario resident and have executed multiple Wills or you have shares of stock of privately held corporations, we suggest that you contact Samantha Wu, member of the Ontario Bar and the New York State Bar at Altro LLP in our Toronto offices.