BCLI’s Undue Influence Recognition/Prevention Guide Update Project


August 2022

The BC Law Institute (“BCLI”) is planning to issue a new, updated edition of its popular publication Recommended Practices for Wills Practitioners Relating to Potential Undue Influence: A Guide (“Guide”). First published in 2011, the Guide explains how lawyers and notaries can best shield vulnerable clients against undue influence and steps that help to insulate wills and personal planning documents against later challenge on the basis of undue influence. The Guide contains a Reference Aid checklist and flowchart that are also available as a self-contained document.

Prompted partly by the 2020 amendments to WESA that allow electronic wills and make remote witnessing of will signatures by audiovisual (“AV”) technology a permanent measure, the new edition will address best practices to counter possible undue influence when using AV technology to communicate with clients. It will contain expanded coverage of verbal and nonverbal cues of possible undue influence that lawyers must be vigilant to detect in both face-to-face and remote communications with clients. It will also contain an updated summary of testamentary and inter vivos undue influence law as applied in BC, including recent case law under s. 52 of WESA.

BCLI is creating the new edition of the Guide with the assistance and advice of an interdisciplinary volunteer committee. The updated edition will be available later in 2022 at bcli.org.