The Law Reform Commission of Saskatchewan has released its final reports on the Intestate Succession Act and the Homesteads Act.
Both reports can be downloaded from lawreformcommission.sk.ca/publications/.
Reform of the Intestate Succession Act, 1996
The Intestate Succession Act, 1996 determines how an estate is divided when there is not a valid will, or if there is a portion of an estate remaining after a will has been completely applied. The Commission has undertaken a comprehensive review of The Intestate Succession Act, 1996. This Final Report makes several recommendations for reform based on current estate planning practices that will ensure Saskatchewan’s intestate estate distribution system remains relatively simple, certain, and efficient.
The Homesteads Act, 1989 protects spouses who do not own their homes against the sale, mortgaging or other disposition of the homestead by requiring the non-owning spouse to sign a consent and be examined separately from the owning spouse before such action can be taken. This Final Report considers two distinct issues: (1) whether an attorney acting under a power of attorney should be able to consent to a disposition of the homestead, and (2) whether a homestead should include mines and minerals. This Final Report recommends allowing an attorney to consent to a disposition of the homestead in place of a non-owning spouse, subject to the condition that where the attorney is the spouse of the non-owning spouse, the attorney only be able to consent to a disposition of the homestead where the non-owning spouse lacks capacity. This Final Report also recommends that The Homesteads Act, 1989 be amended to specifically exclude mines and minerals from the definition of the homestead.