Non Binding ( Precatory) Words In Will Not a Trust

Non Binding ( Precatory)  words in a will were found not to create a trust that was legally binding on the trustee, but instead that the words were non binding ( precatory) and thus only morally binding an thus an outright bequest.   Killam v… Read more

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

“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

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

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

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

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

Copy of Will Probated

Under certain circumstances a copy of a will rather than the original, may be admitted to probate as the last valid will of the deceased. The competing claimants will typically  argue that there is a presumption of revocation when the original will cannot be produced…. Read more

Gifts In Contemplation of Death

GIFTS MADE IN CONTEMPLATION OF DEATH Deathbed gifts happen surprisingly often. It is relatively common for people, during their last days, to make sizable gifts to caregivers and loved ones. Frequently the purported gift is at odds with the will of the dying person. Like… Read more

Assets Passing Outside of the Estate

Assets Passing – Probably most people in North America die holding assets that pass from their name to others or their estate that pass both ” inside” and “outside” of the estate.   A deceased’s will only distributes assets that were personally owned by the deceased… Read more

Leave to Appeal

The legal test for leave to appeal was restated in Ho Estate v. Ho 2016 BCCA 253 , upheld at 2016 BCCA 378, where the decision of one appeal judge was upheld by a panel when he refused leave to appeal on the basis that… Read more

Entered Court Orders

The Court does not have jurisdiction  to re open entered court orders but may vary the order where has been a change of circumstance. The court refused to re open or vary an entered court order in Sugrim v Sugrim 2016 BCSC 1644 when after entering… Read more

Adoption Purposes

Adoption is for all purposes. I advised a legal enquiry today that he could not claim aginst the estate of his natural father (birth  parent”) since he had been adopted by another party and that for estate claims, his adoption was for “all purposes”. Section 3 WESA re… Read more

Will Varied to Give Daughter Entire Estate

Hagen-Bourgeault v. Martens 2016 BCSC 1096 varied a will (S. 60 WESA) to give a 25 year old daughter with two young children on social assistance, the entire estate of $2,200 per month until 2025, instead of her husband of two years who was well… Read more

Claim Dismissed For No Standing

Re Tomlinson Estate 2016 BCSC 1223 dealt with a nephew contesting his aunt’s will when he was neither a named beneficiary under the will or an intestate heir had his claim dismissed for lack of standing. Standing is a pre-requisite to advancing claims regarding a… Read more