Estate Practice?

Revised Statement of Principles and more

As you are likely already aware, there have been two changes to the Court of Queen's Bench Rules regarding estates in the last few years. In particular:

  • January 1, 2013: Rule 74.14 'Lawyers' Fees and Disbursements in Estate Matters' was replaced, and was effective for estates where administration or probate is filed in the court on or after January 1, 2013; and
  • July 1, 2017: Rule 74.14 amendments came into effect, and the amendments apply to any estate billing after July 1, 2017, including estates for which probate was filed in the court on or after January 1, 2013.

In 2010, the Law Society released a Statement of Principles applicable to lawyers who act in a representative capacity and also to fees generally in the context of estate administration. These principles were developed as a result of the work of the President’s Special Committee on Lawyers Acting as Executors and Trustees, which was struck in 2008, and had been approved by the Benchers.

In response to the 2013 change to the QB Rules, the Law Society released a Revised Statement of Principles in 2014. These have been amended again to reflect the 2017 change to the QB Rules and the 2018 Practice Notice is now available on the Law Society website.

In addition, the audit department has prepared a summary of the related requirements, which includes a decision tree to help determine which parties need to provide consent and in which circumstances. Remember Rule 3.6-1 of the Code of Professional Conduct requires fees to be fair and reasonable.

For matters for which probate or administration was filed in the court on or after January 1, 2013, please refer to the amended QB Rule 74.14 and the Revised Statement of Principles, with the above considerations in mind.
Reviewed the materials and have questions? Contact the audit department at audit@lawsociety.mb.ca.

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