Correction to Special Compensation Fund summary

The Special Compensation Fund summary on former lawyer John Motiuk, published in the September-October issue of the Bulletin, stated the following:

In May, 1996 Mr. Motiuk drafted a will for a long-time client, Ms. W. The will appointed Mr. Motiuk’s law firm as sole executor with the right to be paid professional fees. Mr. Motiuk, however, was one of the two attesting witnesses, which rendered his appointment as executor and the charging clause invalid (emphasis added).

This statement is incorrect. The Wills Act provides that “A person is not incompetent as a witness to prove the execution of a will, or its validity or invalidity, solely because the person is an executor.” Consequently, while the charging clause in the will witnessed by Mr. Motiuk was invalid, his appointment as executor was not.

One paragraph in the Special Compensation Fund Committee’s report on Mr. Motiuk, which mistakenly referred to the appointment not being valid, has now been corrected, and the balance of the report properly reflects the state of the law.