Judicial Bias

Allegations of judicial bias occasionally make the news when a litigant asserts that the proposed  Judge is so biased that a fair trial cannot be obtained, and the Judge is asked to recuse him or herself. Bias is very different from a court finding a… Read more

Gifts to Witnesses – S. 43 WESA

S. 43 of  WESA governs the issue of gifts to witnesses of a will and declares that such gifts are void, unless the court is satisfied that the will maker intended to make the gift to the person even though the beneficiary or his or… Read more

Suspicious Circumstances

Arauju v Neto 2001 BCSC 935 is an undue influence /lack of capacity case that discusses suspicious circumstances.   The court found that due to suspicious circumstances the will maker was not allowed to rely upon the presumption that he was mentally capable when the… Read more

Gift of House Upheld Trust

Franklin v Cooper 2016 BCCA 447 upheld a decision of the Supreme Court that the presumption of resulting trust applied and that the defendant daughter who received gift of house by her mother in joint tenancy, instead held the house in trust for the estate of their… Read more

Funeral Service

  It is surprisingly common for loved ones of a deceased person to argue or even litigate over the funeral service and disposition of the remains of a deceased person. One of the leading cases in BC is Kartsonas v Kartsonas Estate 2010 BCCA 336… Read more

Dementia disease

An epidemic of dementia disease is predicted to occur within the next 15-20 years. The most common types of dementia disease such as Alzheimers, frontotemporal dementia, vascular dementia, and Lewy Bodies are expected to dramatically increase by %50  over the next 15 -20 years as… Read more

Mistake

Teather v Kawashima 2016  BCSC  2231 involved litigation where the defence of mistake was argued and the Court reviewed the law.   When parties are negotiating a contract it may occur that  one party is thinking of one thing while the other party is thinking… Read more

“Survive By Five Days”

S  10 of WESA provides for when a person does not survive a deceased person by five (5)  days or longer when provided for in an instrument(  ie a will) is conclusively deemed to have died before the deceased persona for all purposes and thus will… Read more

Abuse , Neglect and Wills Variation

In my four decades of experience most wills variation claims  bring with them an individual or even sibling collective  story of abuse, neglect, and  other dysfunctions that result in a disinheritance to top it all off. It is settled law that the wills variation act ( now… Read more

Chain of Executorship When Executor Dies

The chain of executorship when the executor dies before finishing his or her  duties  refers to where probate has been taken by an executor who survives the original testator, the right of such executor to a grant of probate does not cease and the representation to… Read more

Wills Variation and Court Costs

Two recent wills variation cases awarded the usual order of court costs to a winning party, namely Scale B. In Dakin v Patry 2016 BCSC 1006 a plaintiff won a summary  trial and was awarded scale B . In Ciarniello v James 2016 BCSC 1805 the… Read more

Fertility and WESA

A deceased husband’s frozen sperm at a fertility centre was declared to be personal property under WESA and previous case law and thus could be inherited by the widow on an intestacy. The court in KLW v Genesis Fertility Centre 2016 BCSC 1621 ordered to release of… Read more

Wills Variation and Long Marriages

Ciarniello v James 2016 BCSC 1699 is a good example on how the court treats the division of estate assets  at the end of  long marriages when the survivor brings a wills variation action on the basis that she was not adequately provided for in her… Read more

Taxation of a Lawyers Account

Lawyer client relationships sometimes go off the rails and a dispute may arise about an unpaid account. The remedy is taxation of the account before a registrar of the Supreme  Court and both the client and the lawyer have the right to have the matter… Read more

Who Can Be an Expert Witness

The complexity  litigation issues  has increased the need and use of expert witnesses, and just who can be one is sometime an issue in itself. Some of the experts that I have  utilized over years of estate litigation are geriatric psychiatrists, accountants and forensic auditors, and… Read more