Will Varied to Double Award to Daughter

Kelly v Bell 2012 BCSC 841 is a  wills variance case ( WESA S 60)  where the court determined that the deceased did not intend to provide  %88 to one child and only %12 to another simply due to a dramatic increase in the value of… Read more

Joint Tenancy In Matrimonial Home Severed By Owners “Course of Dealing”

Joint Tenancy In Matrimonial Home The Ontario Court of Appeal decision Hansen v Hansen Estate 2012 CarswellOnt 2051 is an excellent example to illustrate how co-owners of a property, held as joint tenants with a right of survivorship, can through a course of dealing, legally convert… Read more

The Digital Executor?

Digital executors are actually increasingly vital as ones “personal history on social media” is immortalized and sought after  death. Trevor Todd was contacted by a local television station for the purpose of having an interview about the sudden “issue of the day “that was” Do… Read more

Dismissal of Court Claim For “Want of Prosecution”

McBeth-Kearns v Marples 2012 BCSC 714  is an estate litigation case that like so many, can often end up sitting on the lawyer’s desk or filing cabinet for  years. Charles Dickens wrote about the inordinate delay in estate litigation back in his day in his… Read more

Will Invalid for Lack of “Knowledge and Approval” When Executed

Will Invalid Calderaro v Meyer 2011 ONSC 5395 is an Ontario case where a will invalid as the deceased did not have knowledge and approval of the wills contents when it was executed. The testator died in 2009. Prior to that he lived in a… Read more

Who Gets What When There is No Will (Intestate)

What happens when there is no will? My late mother used to tell me even when I was an established estate lawyer that when someone dies without a will, his or her assets go to the government. No matter how hard I tried, I could… Read more

Client Privilege and the Wills Cases Exception

Client privilege and the wills cases exception are the few line of cases that will not remain privileged after death. It is very frequent in estate litigation that for various reasons, the disinherited parties often wish to obtain the wills files of the solicitor who drafted… Read more

Battered Person Syndrome

The United Nations Development Fund for Women estimates that at least one of every three women globally will be beaten, raped or otherwise abused during her lifetime. In most cases, the abuser is a member of her own family.   Today’s purpose is not to… Read more

The Four Elements of a Will

ELEMENTS OF A WILL  There are basically four elements of a will: 1) Intended to Have Disposing Effect A Will must express the testator’s real donative intention. It will not be a valid Will if the testator merely writes a statement importing information about his… Read more

Son Disinherited For Valid and Rational Reasons

Holvenstot v Holvestot Estate 2012 BCSC 923 is an excellent example of the wills variation claim brought by a disinherited son of the deceased. The claim  was dismissed for some of the valid and rational reasons that the deceased stated as reasons for not having a moral… Read more

The Missing Hell’s Angel and the Presumption of Death

The Presumption of Death  and Missing Hells Angel Re Burgess, 2004 BCSC 62,  in estate circles known  as the “Hell’s Angels case”, is good illustration of the practical considerations often applied by the court in presumption of death applications. On or about January 7, 2002,… Read more

Tataryn – The Leading Wills Variation Case in BC

In Tataryn v. Tataryn Estate, [1994] 2 S.C.R. 807 [Tataryn] the Supreme Court of Canada clarified the law of wills variations and held that a will may be varied under the WVA where there are legal or moral obligations to provide maintenance and support for… Read more

Ad Hoc “Casual” Fiduciary Relationships

Sedin Estate v Rusin 2011 BCSC 1207 is an excellent example of financial abuse of an elderly person by a trusted financial advisor who was found to be in a casual and ” ad hoc “fiduciary relationships with the deceased. The deceased and her husband became… Read more

The Presumption Against Intestacy

Presumption Against Intestacy In Wills Interpretation Re Murray Estate 2007 BCSC 1035 has been previously blogged by disinherited.com and is a good case relating to the rules of construction in interpreting a will. One of the golden rules of wills interpretation is that the court… Read more

25 Tips For Drafting Better Wills and Minimizing Liability

25 TIPS   FOR DRAFTING BETTER WILLS and MINIMIZING LIABILITY   1.        Take your time. Be cautious. Seriously consider charging your actual time on a Wills file. If your client objects, then educate the client about the amount of time needed to prepare a… Read more