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Can a will be redacted to protect the privacy of beneficiaries?
My husband passed away recently. He and I had identical wills, with the same named beneficiaries: his children from a previous marriage and my children from a previous marriage. My husband had only one asset: our house, which we owned jointly, so it passed directly to me on his death. As a result, probate was not required. His children are now threatening to challenge the will, and are demanding to see a copy. Can I redact my children's names from a copy of my husband's will, to preserve their privacy?

Can a will be redacted to protect the privacy of beneficiaries? - Nicco Bautista

If probate is not required, then there is no obligation to disclose the will of the deceased. Note that there is a potential for the deceased's children to begin a process under the BC Supreme Court Civil Rules to attempt to compel you to probate the deceased’s will and in the process, disclose the full will to them. As a result, your lawyer may suggest that it is more practical to send them a redacted version of the deceased’s will as a means of trying to avoid this process.

Nicco Bautista
BMO Wealth Management
Reviewed September 2018

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