Revocation of Wills Post WESA

Revocation of Wills Post WESA

The introduction of the Wills Estates and Succession act (WESA) on March 31,2014 made a few  significant changes to the law relating to the revocation of wills. Probably the most significant change was that marriage after the execution of a will no longer revokes a… 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

Lawyer Duty Taking Will Instructions: Suspicious Circumstances

Lawyer Duty Taking Will Instructions: Suspicious Circumstances

The duty of a lawyer/solicitor  in taking will instructions when suspicious circumstances are present was discussed in Shroff v Schroff 2017 MBQB 51. Suspicious Circumstances Suspicious circumstances have been found to exist in a wide array of situations and are not necessarily sinister in nature. There is… Read more

Notice to Dispute: Understanding the Rules

Notice to Dispute: Understanding the Rules

A party wishing to contest the issuance of a grant of probate or administration may file a Notice to Dispute under Rule 25 (10) of the Supreme Court Rules. While a notice to dispute is in effect, the registrar must not issue an estate grant…. Read more

Court Directions

Court Directions

Biely Estate v CNIB 2017 BCSC 788 involved an application for Court directions to be followed with respect to three competing wills of a deceased. The application was brought pursuant to Supreme Court Civil Rule 25-14(8)(a) and sought directions that the litigation only deal with… Read more

Fraudulent Wills

Fraudulent Wills: Vancouver Sun Article

The Vancouver Sun published an article I wrote on the increased risk of fraudulent wills that may occur under WESA. The B.C. inheritance-and-estate law brought in two years ago has increased the risk of forged and fraudulent wills, says a lawyer involved in the debate… Read more

Gift to Witness to Will Cured By S 43 WESA

Bach Estate 2017 BCSC 548  cured a gift to witness to will to be valid   when prior to WESA  on March 31, 2014 it would  have been invalid.   One of the witnesses to the will was the husband of the deceased and a beneficiary under… Read more

Conflict of Law: "Ordinarily Resident"

Conflict of Law: “Ordinarily Resident”

Cresswell v Cresswell Estate 2017 BCSC 178 dealt with a conflict of law situation and held that the jurisdiction of the BC court should be denied for a wills variation action and held that it should properly be filed under Alberta court jurisdiction as the… Read more

Anti-Ademption Under S 48 WESA

Anti-Ademption Under S 48 WESA

Forbes v Millard Estate 2017 BCSC 361 discusses and gives effect to S. 48 WESA , known as the anti-ademption provision, when property is disposed of by a nominee such as a power of attorney prior to death that under common law the bequest would… Read more

Wills Variation: Court Criteria Between Disinherited Adult Children and Second Spouses

Wills Variation: Court Criteria Between Disinherited Adult Children and Second Spouses

R. (J.) v M. (JD) 2016 BCSC 2265 summarized the court criteria will consider when deciding the competing moral claim of a disinherited  adult independent child  and a second spouse who inherited  the entire estate. The adult child had been disinherited and had been estranged from… Read more

Will In "Contemplation of Marriage" Not Revoked

Will In “Contemplation of Marriage” Not Revoked

Pace Estate 2016 BCSC 2306 held that a 2001 will left to “my common law spouse  of four years ” was not revoked by their subsequent marriage under what was then S 15 Wills Act that provided that marriage revoked a will. The parties married over… Read more

Statute Barred Debt to Estate Deducted From Beneficiary

Statute Barred Debt to Estate Deducted From Beneficiary

Re Johnston Estate 2017 BCSC 272 upheld the rule in Cherry v. Boultbee  which provides that where a legatee of a share of the residue is a debtor of the estate, he or she is not entitled to receive his or her legacy without bringing… Read more

The Duty of Care Owed By a Will Drafter

The Duty of Care Owed By a Will Drafter

In Korpiel v Sanguinetti (1999) B.C.J. 1048 the court concluded that a will drafter, usually a solicitor or notary, owes no duty of care to beneficiaries beyond the competent and timely fulfillment of the testator’s testamentary instructions. In the Sanguinetti case, the court considered whether… Read more

Non Binding (Precatory) Words In Will Not a Trust

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 Killam 2017… Read more

Severance of Court Actions Upheld On Appeal

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