England Considers Allowing Texts and Voicemails to Be Wills

England Considers Allowing Texts and Voicemails to Be Wills

England is considering introducing radical reforms to it’s inheritance laws that would allow text messages and voice mails to be valid wills according to an article in today’s Telegraph. “British people will be able to use voicemail and text messages to make their wills, under… Read more

Signs Your Senior Loved One is a Victim of Elder Abuse

Signs Your Senior Loved One is a Victim of Elder Abuse

The following article on signs of elder abuse  is reprinted with the permission of Sally Perkins , an American former home care and hospice manager. Signs Your Senior Loved One is a Victim of Elder Abuse If only we lived in a world where people… Read more

Is it a Petition or Notice of Claim?

Petition or Notice of Claim?

Litigators must choose the appropriate forum to commence a court action: a petition or notice of claim. Most cases are commenced by the use of a notice of claim while certain types of cases may or must be commenced by petition. Carphin v Braich Estate… Read more

partition action

Who Can Bring a Partition Action

In order to be able to bring any  court action the claimant must have standing. Pallot v Douglas 2017 BCCA 254 is a court of appeal case setting out who has the standing to bring a partition action under the Partition of Property act. It… Read more

Beneficiary Trusts in Leasehold Estates

Beneficiary Trusts in Leasehold Estates

Pallot v Douglas 2017 BCCA 254 discusses the interest of a beneficiary of a trust in a decision that held that the beneficiary of a leasehold interest in a trust does not have the standing to partition the property and force a sale. This is… Read more

Can An Unwitnessed Will be Valid?

Unwitnessed Will Valid

Section 58 WESA was once again successfully used in Re Litke Estate 2017 BCSC 1079 to find a hand written unwitnessed signed “will-like” document to be a valid will. Such documents are now routinely found valid by the courts if certain criteria are met. The… Read more

Understanding Inherent Jurisdiction of the Court

Inherent Jurisdiction of the Court

Mayer v Rubin 2017 ONSC 3498 dealt with the inherent jurisdiction of the court to supervise the management of estates, control its processes and protect those who cannot fend for themselves.  26      The court has broad and inherent powers to supervise the management of estates… Read more

Entering into Settlement Agreements

Settlement Agreements

Probably every litigator has had the experience of having entered into a settlement agreement only to have the opposing party attempt to repudiate the settlement agreement resulting in a court application to determine if the agreement is valid and enforceable or if it was successfully… Read more

Ordering Court Costs Against a Non-Party

Ordering Court Costs Against a Non-Party

Hollander v Mooney 2017 BCCA 238 discussed the Court’s jurisdiction to order costs against a non-party and held that it is limited to special circumstances such as fraudulent conduct, abuse of process, gross misconduct, or circumstances where the non-party is the “real litigant”: Anchorage Management… Read more

Exclusion of a Party at Trial or Discovery

Exclusion of a Party at Trial or Discovery

Generally speaking a party to an action has the right to attend the entire trial or the examinations for discovery of other parties to the action and exclusion of a party is an uncommon event, but appropriate in some circumstances. The BC Court of Appeal case Sisson… Read more

Fiduciary Duties: The Rules on Profit

The Profiteering Fiduciary

Fiduciaries must account for their handling of trust properties to the trust beneficiaries, and are not allowed to profit from being a fiduciary other than being paid reasonable fees for services rendered. Equity compels a fiduciary to hold and manage trust property on the terms… Read more

Vexatious Litigant Enjoined From Further Court Actions

Vexatious Litigant Enjoined From Further Court Actions

A particularly frivolous and vexatious claim commenced by ” God, Prince Kitsilano, Skidegate-Sterritt Family, in James Sterritt and Marya Watson , on behalf of all Indians and Muslims was struck and the litigant barred from commencing further court actions without leave of the Supreme Court…. Read more

Fiduciary Duties of Corporate Directors

Fiduciary Duties of Corporate Directors

Ascent One Properties Ltd v Liao 2017 BCSC 1017 dealt with an aborted real estate development project that alleged inter alia a breach of fiduciary duties by a corporate director and officer. The case outlines the law relating to the fiduciary duties owed by a… Read more

Executor/Trustee Must Decide and Not Delegate

Executor/Trustee Must Decide and Not Delegate

While a trustee or executor may retain an agent to perform a particular duty or give them advice, if the will permits delegation of such duties, the executor, trustee must ultimately make the decision about the course of action. The leading decision on the matter… Read more

Trustee Act: Trustees Breach of Trust Excused

Trustees Breach of Trust Excused

Section 96 of the Trustee Act allows the court to excuse a trustee for negligence or breach of trust when handling estate assets if the trustee acted honestly and reasonably. Section 96 states as follows: 96. If it appears to the court that a trustee,… Read more