Dirty Family Secrets

  At age 37, actor Jack Nicholson learned that the person he had known as his life as his sister was actually his mother, and his “mother” was actually his grandmother. By the time he learned the truth, both had died without ever telling him… Read more

Seniors Beware of Care For Life Agreements

Seniors often fall victim to the best of intentioned Care For Life Agreements with a child, that often turn disastrous. I was recently retained by a senior who advanced over $400,000.00 to his only son and his wife. He did so on the understanding they… Read more

Common Law Marriage or Mere Housemates?

There is currently a good deal of litigation arising in estate disputes as to claims that lovers were spouses and not mere housemates. Historically the law did not recognize the claim of a common-law spouse against the estate of their deceased partner.  Indeed these relationships… Read more

Dysfunctional Families Are Everywhere

  Dysfunctional families are everywhere.   Some years ago the Vancouver Sun ran a feature on dysfunctional families and  reported that one in three British Columbians expect to be disinherited by their parents. Practising estate litigation for over 40 years, it is easy to believe… Read more

Beware Badly Drafted Separation Agreements re Future Estate Claims

In my experience many matrimonial practitioners may well do a very good job in their respective field, but upon drafting separation agreements to finalize the marriage, many of the agreements are very poorly drafted with respect to inheritance issues between the spouses that may arise… Read more

Sibling Rivalry – Mom Always Loved YOU Best

Sibling rivalry is rife in estate litigation and often comes to the fore with the death of the parents— particularly the last parent. Although some fortunate siblings may be the best of friends, that situation is obviously rare in our practices. One of our favourite… Read more

Do NOT Put Your Kids On Title Of Your Home

No Children On the Title Of Your Home After witnessing parents putting their children on title to their home as joint tenants for over 40 years, I have emphatically concluded that in almost every instance is a bad idea. While it sounds so simple that… Read more

“Marriage Like Relationship” Upheld

The criteria for a marriage like relationship was upheld in the Duga case. The courts have been grappling with the often difficult to determine issue of what is a marriage like relationship for several years. Many of the earlier decisions were difficult to reconcile, especially… Read more

No Constitutional Right To “Know One’s Sperm Donor

  The Supreme Court of Canada ruled there is no constitutional right to know one’s past by obtaining information on your own past from your sperm donor.   Pratten v Attorney General of BC and College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC, the Supreme Court of… Read more

Children Neglected When Young Held Not Liable To Support Mother

Adult Children Who Were Neglected When Young Held Not Liable To Support Manipulative Mother Anderson v Anderson, Doko and others 2013 BCSC 129 is sort of a “shoe on the other foot” vantage  from the usual case blogged by disinherited.com Here an elderly mother brought court… Read more

New Family Law Act Expected March 18,2013

New Family Law The Family Relations act will be replaced by the new Family Law act, on or about March 18 next.While disinherited.com does not venture into matrimonial disputes, the fact is that the laws of family and estates are increasingly becoming interwoven, and not… Read more

Family Laws and Estate Planning Laws May Clash

Family Laws and Estate Planning Laws May Clash The laws relating to family law and estate planning are intersecting and clashing more and more often. Until recent years, an entirely different approach was taken by the “Probate Courts” and their estate related actions, and the… Read more

Mom Always Liked You Best

It still cracks me up to visualize the cover of 1965 Smothers Brothers 8th comedy album ” Mom Always Liked You Best.” The cover photograph shows Dick surrounded by a dog, a wagon, a scooter and many other toys while Tom is sitting there with just… Read more

Claim For Common Law Spouse Status Dismissed

Claim For Common Law Spouse Buell, Buell and Buell v Unger 2011 BCSC 351 involves an intestacy of the deceased and a contest between a purported common-law spouse and his previous wife of 21 years and their two children as to who inherits the estate…. 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