Early Onset Dementia

Early onset dementia is occurring more frequently and developing a decade before than it was 20 years ago, a wide-ranging international study has found. Anecdotally the research confirms what many of us have experienced first-hand. One of my classmates, Rick Sugden became known as the” lawyer’s… Read more

Mental Incapacity and Paranoid Delusions

Mental Incapacity and Paranoid Delusions Verwoord v. Goss, 2014 BCSC 2122 is one of a few cases, and perhaps a trend in incapacity law, where the courts have found a will invalid by reason that the deceased was delusional about a beneficiary that should have been… Read more

Public Guardian Often The Best Committee In Dysfunctional Families

Public Guardian and Trustee   It is very common in estate litigation for adult children of the dementing parent to litigate in order to have the court determine which party should be appointed the legal representative of the incapable parent, and be appointed the committee…. Read more

Delusions and Mental Capacity

Delusions and Mental Capacity   In order to have mental capacity to sign a will or transfer your property while alive for no consideration, a person must be free of delusions in accordance with the leading case of Banks v Goodfellow. To paraphrase the test… Read more

Mental Capacity Required For a Will Is the Same as Inter Vivos Transfer

 Mental Capacity Required For a Will   Brydon v Malamas 2008 BCSC 749 at paragraph 47 confirms that the test for mental capacity for an inter vivos transfer ( while  alive), is the same as the test of testamentary capacity, including the shifting of the… Read more

Alzheimers – A Looming Epidemic

At a recent summit in New York , the looming epidemic of Alzheimers was described as “the world’s most significant unaddressed health risk, as there is neither a cure nor a means of slowing its progression.” It’s a particularly cruel disease; memory is what makes… Read more

Mental Capacity to Marry Is Low

The British Columbia courts have once again held that the amount of mental capacity required to marry for an individual, is in fact a very low standard. As the saying goes “any fool can get married ” What is wrong with this analysis however is the… Read more

Taking Instructions and Testamentary Capacity

Will makers must always conduct an assessment of mental capacity when taking will instructions. In 1992 I was Plaintiff’s counsel in the decision Mikita v. Lick. The action involved a 10 day trial, in which I succeeded in setting aside a will and transfer, prepared… Read more

Delusions and Testamentary Capacity

Delusions are often overlooked as a cause for lack of mental capacity. I was recently retained by a sister of a deceased person who advised that in her opinion, she had been disinherited from her late brother’s will as a result of his cocaine abuse…. Read more

Mental Capacity And Marriage

The law is currently in error with respect to this area, stating that only a low level of capacity is required to marry.   I question in light of that, why about one quarter of lawyers earn their keep trying to get people out of… Read more

The Doctrine of Suspicious Circumstances

The Doctrine of Suspicious Circumstances- From Laszlo v Lawton 2013 SCBC 305 [200] In Vout v. Hay, [1995] 2 S.C.R. 876 [Vouf\, the Supreme Court of Canada laid to rest the thread of confusion that had emerged in earlier decisions concerning the burden of proof… Read more

Mental Health Withdraws Support For Psychiatrists DSM-5

 Mental Health and The Controversial DSM5 Psychiatrists like to put labels on mental disorders and use the DSM for such use.The new DSM-5 seems to be causing controversy within the mental health business.Considering that not long ago, the DSM classified such things as homosexuality as… Read more

Testator Must Know General Value of Assets to Have Mental Capacity

Mental Capacity and Knowing the Value of  Testators Assets Part of the criteria in proving mental capacity of a testator involves showing that the testator understood the nature and the extent of the property being disposed of by the will. The question that is often… Read more

Almost Everything You Need To Know About Testamentary ( Mental) Capacity

Testamentary  ( Mental) Capacity The decision Laszlo v Lawton et al 2013 BCSC 305 is a series of stellar reasons for Judgement by Madam Justice Ballance, including a thorough review of the law of testamentary capacity. The deceased died in 2008 at age 84 years,… Read more

Will Upheld- No Suspicious Circumstances

Validity of a Will and Suspicious Circumstances Maddess v Racz 2009 BCCA 539 is a testamentary capacity case where the trial judge and the court of appeal both uphold the validity of a will and find no suspicious circumstances that would rebutt the presumption of… Read more