Severance of Court Actions Upheld On Appeal

The Court of Appeal in Johnston v Johnston Estate 2017 BCCA 59 upheld the trial decision found at 2016 BCSC 1388 where an action seeking that a will was invalid, or alternatively if it was valid it should be varied under the wills variation provisions… Read more

Relationship Between Parent and Child Is Fiduciary

A (LS) v A. ( WH) Estate 2014 BCSC  1910  ( Antrobus v Antrobus) discusses that the relationship of parent and child is fiduciary in nature, and that parents have an obligation to care for, protect and rear their children . This line of authority was… Read more

Court Costs Awarded Against Lawyer Personally

The Supreme Court of Canada dismissed an appeal of the Ontario Court of Appeal upholding a a substantial award of court costs against a  lawyer personally for his handling of a case found to be vexatious and an abuse of process.  The client was also jointly… Read more

Get Your Will Done Joke

This is especially for Seniors but also for those who have not prepared their Will!!     Mr. Smith is on his deathbed and knows the end is near. The nurse, his wife, daughter and 2 sons, are with him. He asks that 2 witnesses… Read more

Misfeasance of Public Officials

It occasionally occurs in estate litigation that a party has complaints about the misfeasance of  public officials, (usually  against the Public Guardian and Trustee), as a result of perceived deliberate  unlawful actions on the part of the public official against the complainant . The tort… Read more

Joint Tenancy and the Right of Survivorship

McKendry v McKendry 2017 BCCA 48 sets out a good analysis of what a joint tenancy is and the right of survivorship associated with it.   The real property in question was the mother of four children’s home in Vancouver. In 2008, she transferred legal… Read more

“Adopted Out” Child Cannot Contest Biological Parent’s Estate Under Wills Variation

Boer v Mikaloff Estate 2017 BCSC 21 confirmed that an “adopted out” child cannot contest the will of the biological parent’s estate under S.60 WESA (the wills variation provision) when it answered the following posed question negatively:   Does a child who is adopted by… Read more

Amending Court Pleadings

Russell Estate v Larson 2017 BCSC 113 contains a good summary of the law relating to amending court pleadings.   Pleadings are very important in litigation so as to give a concise definition of the issues to be tried and to allow the opposing party… Read more

Executor Can Waive Solicitor Client Privilege

Haas Estate v Jane Doe 2017 BCSC 12 confirmed that an executor( personal representative ) of an estate can waive any solicitor client privilege that existed prior to the deceased’s passing. Mr. Haas died on February 15, 2016, leaving a will naming his only child,… Read more

Executor Added After Expiration of Wills Variation Limitation

Wills Variation Limitation. Under the provisions of section 60 WESA, an action under the wills variation provisions must be commenced within 180 days of the grant of probate or the action is statute barred. In the 1987 decision Cowan v Cowan 17 BCLR ( 2d)… Read more

Damage Assessments on Appeal

The appeal case of Gadhri v 0760815 BC Ltd 2017 BCCA 31 confirmed long standing law that an appeal court will not vary a trial judge’s award of damages assessments unless the following occurs: “An appellate court will not interfere with a trial judge’s assessment… Read more

Financial Abuse of the Elderly

Elderly people are  more susceptible to financial abuse and  fraudulent schemes such as telemarketers  and contest frauds . Due to medical, technological and public health advances, the life span of a typical North American male or female has increased from age 68 in 1950 to approximately 80++… Read more

Discretionary Trusts

A (S) v Metro Vancouver Housing Corp. 2017 BCCA 2 was a case involving how much information was required to be provided by the recipient of discretionary trusts in order to qualify for subsidized housing. The case included an excellent discussion of what a discretionary… Read more

Joint Bank Holder Not Liable For Breach of Fiduciary Duty

Estate of Annie Mackay v Mackay 2015 ONSC 7429 held that  anon contributing joint bank acco8unt holder with her mother , who paid herself to manage the bank account, was held not liable for breach of fiduciary duty. No specific terms of payment were ever… Read more

The Court’s Power to Conrol Itself (Vexatious Litigants)

Semenoff Estate v Semenoff 2017 BCCA 17 involved the Appeal Court reviewing the power of the court to control it’s own conduct and that of  vexatious litigants appearing in court. The case arose from an appeal of 30 issues from a summary judgement hearing  and… Read more