Executor/Trustee Removed For Conflict of Interest

An executor/trustee must act impartially and in the interests of all beneficiaries, or stands the risk of removal for conflict of interest. This is what occurred in Browne v Brown Estate 2014 BCSC 656   There are a number of other detailed blogs on this… Read more

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Beneficiaries Must Now Outlive the Deceased By 5 Days to Inherit Under WESA

As recently reported, a husband and wife who died within 15 hours of each other after 70 years of marriage, would under the laws of WESA, not inherit from the other, as there is now a requirement that the beneficiary MUST survive the deceased for… Read more

Calaculating Damages In Wrongful Death Cases

Panghali v. Panghali, 2014 BCSC 647, blogged yesterday, involved the court awarding a 10-year-old girl approximately $500,000 in damages for the wrongful death  of her mother who was murdered by her husband. As referred to yesterday, in British Columbia the calculation of damages for wrongful… Read more

Damages For Wrongful Death-The Family Compensation Act

Damages totaling almost $500,000 were awarded this week to a 10-year-old child arising out of the wrongful death arising from the murder of her mother by her husband. The damages were awarded pursuant to the Family Compensation Act, R.S.B.C 1996, c. 126 [FCA].   For… Read more

The Top 10 Reasons Estates End Up In Court

The Top 10 Reasons Estates End Up In Court After 40 years of estate litigation, I have noted that the top ten most common, but certainly not the only claims, are the following, in no particular order: Mental Capacity, Undue Influence, Wills Improperly prepared or… Read more

The “Badges of Fraud”

Fraud is a deception deliberately practiced in order to secure unfair or unlawful gain (adjectival form fraudulent; to defraud is the verb, and the Badges of Fraud are used by the court s as rough gauge as to whether Fraud exists in the situation or not.. As a… Read more

Winning an Undue Influence Case

WINNING AN UNDUE INFLUENCE CASE   In my experience in estate litigation, probably the most difficult issue to win at trial is that of undue influence. A review of case law makes clear the majority of such allegations are dismissed at trial due to insufficient… Read more

What the Court Needs to Know to Win a Wills Variation Action

S 60 of WESA allows the court to exercise its discretion re the claims of spouses and children against the assets of a deceased’s estate, on the basis that they were not adequately provided for in the estate.   The right to bring a Wills… Read more

Wills Variation Act Not Affected By WESA

The original plan for WESA was to restrict the right of an independent adult child to bring a claim against his or her parents estate on the basis that he or she will was not adequately provided for. A great deal of discussion took place… Read more

Revocation of a Will Under WESA

A will that was revoked before Part 4 of the WESA came  into force on April 1.14, is not revived by virtue of Part 4 coming into force (s. 186(3)). This exception is of particular importance if the will-maker marries after making a will. As… Read more

Mistakes In Wills and How To Fix Them

Mistakes in wills are frequently made and then subsequently not discovered until typically many years later after the passing of the will maker. The usual types of mistakes  break into two areas- that the will was not properly executed in accordance with established principles ,or… Read more

WESA# 37- S. 25 Allows For Removal of Executor

One of the most common complaints of estate litigants is the role, choice or behavior of the executor chosen by the deceased. The Courts are reluctant to remove an executor without valid reasons. For further in depth discussion of removal of executors, trustees ( personal… Read more

How to Sever a Joint Tenancy With a Co Owner

A prospective client called yesterday inquiring whether three siblings who had joint tenancy with a fourth sibling, can force a sale so as to buy out the troublemaking fourth sibling. I answered yes,  as the Partition of Property act allows for a severance of the… Read more

WESA #35-The Priority for Applicants to Be Appointed Administrator In Intestate Estates

Section 130 of WESA is a new section that provides for a priority of the various persons who may be entitled to apply for a grant of administration where the deceased died without a will (intestate) l.   The spouse has priority but may nominate… Read more

The Courts Power to Amend Pleadings

It is frequent in estate litigation that new facts arise and the claim must be amended to provide for the adequate remedy. This blog is a summary of the courts power to make such an order.   Rule 6-1(1) of the Supreme Court Rules provides… Read more