Proof In Solemn Form and Attestation Clauses

Proof In Solemn Form and Attestation Clauses

Bhall Estate 2017 BCSC 1867 involved a contested application to prove a will in solemn form where the court inter alia relied upon the presence of the attestation clause to be of some significance. The will was drafted by a lawyer who kept very few… Read more

Is a Will Valid By A Grant of Probate?

Is a Will Valid By A Grant of Probate?

Seepa v Seepa 2017 ONSC 5368 revisited the question of whether a will is recognized as valid by a grant of probate. The Court followed Neuberger v. York, 2016 ONCA 191: a. The court’s jurisdiction in probate is inquisitorial because the court’s decision does more… Read more

Common Law Spouse Expanded

Common Law Spouse Expanded

Connor estate 2017 BCSC 978 could be a bit of a game changer for common law WESA spouses in the sense that the court finding that the parties were spouses could be an “expansion” of the concept of common law spouse. Kent J found a… 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

Hearsay Evidence In Vancouver Estate Disputes

Hearsay Evidence In Vancouver Estate Disputes

Hearsay evidence is very common in Vancouver estate disputes and generally speaking is allowed by the courts subject to a few principled rules so long as it is not relied upon for “the truth of its contents”. Hearsay evidence was discussed in Horton v Bruce… 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

Use of Multiple Wills Approved

Use of Multiple Wills Approved

In re: Berkner Estate 2017 BCSC 619 the Court approved the use  of Multiple Wills in estate planning.  The applicant submits that a person is entitled to have more than one valid will. As an example, multiple wills may be used when a will maker… Read more

Spoliation of Evidence

Spoliation of Evidence

Spoliation of evidence is the intentional destruction of relevant evidence when litigation exists or is pending. There are few cases on the issue in Canada but it does occur on occasion. In Holland ( Guardian ad litem) v Marshall 2008 BCCA 468 the appeal court… Read more

Stay of Proceedings

Stay of Proceedings

Gerritse v Hospital For Sick Children 2017 ONSC 1859 dealt with an application for a stay of proceedings in one court case until the paternity issue in another case was firstly decided. The Court refused the application and cited the law as previously set out in… Read more

Change of Venue of Trial

Change of Venue of Trial

Harder v Harder estate 2017 BCSC 425 discussed the law relating to changing the venue of trial or interlocutory proceedings from where the action was originally commenced to another city. The defendants in Harder sought an order transferring the proceedings  from Victoria to the Vancouver… 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

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