Claim For Property Promised Years Before Upheld

A Claim For Interest In Property Verbally Promised Years Before, Was Upheld By Court As  An Agreement Verbal promises to provide property years in the future, in return for services  for the life of the promissor, are increasingly common in estate litigation. Such arrangements, usually… Read more

Conditional Gift In Will Found Invalid

A Conditional gift in will is surprisingly common, and depending on their particular proviso, the Court may or may not uphold the gift. The 1996 BC case of Unger v Gossen is a case where the conditional gift was found to be invalid.The testator in BC left… Read more

Letters of Administration Revoked For Failing To Satisfy Test of Common Law Spouse

Letters of Administration Revoked For Failure to Prove Common Law Spouse Marriage Like Relationship Souraya v Kinch 2012 BCSC 1252 involves a case where the grant of letters of administration revoked on the basis that the deceased’s alleged common-law spouse,failed to  prove that she met the … Read more

Administrator Appointed Pending Litigation

Independent Administrator Appointed For  Estate Assets Pending Litigation, aka administrator pendent lite. A common feature of many estate  disputes  is the acrimonious nature between the various claimants to the assets of the deceased. In fact, certain cases become renowned within the profession and the courts… Read more

Beneficiary Who Prepared Will Has Heavy Burden

Beneficiary Who Prepared Will and Substantially Benefits has a very heavy burden of proof Cooke v Walsh 1965 (52) WWR 449 is a chestnut of a decision by former Chief Justice Wilson that deserves comment  even 37 years later. The deceased made a will shortly… Read more

Unsigned Draft Will Refused Probate

The only thing surprising about this decision from a British Columbia perspective is that it actually proceeded to court. The solicitor prepared the draft will and advised the deceased in writing that she was to make an appointment to come in and sign it. The… Read more

Words “Born After” Interpreted

“Born After” Interpreted in Two Express Trusts Turk v Turk 2011 ONSC 6497 dealt with the various rules of construction and interpretation of the words“born after the date of the settlement” that were used in to family trust settled by a grandmother in 1992 and… Read more

Objections to Hearsay Evidence Often Denied In Estate Litigation

The Manitoba case of  Young v Paille 2012 CarswellMan 12  is a good example of how far the courts are prepared to go to allow hearsay evidence to be admitted in most estate litigation cases where it is the best evidence available. (Disinherited.com has previously… Read more

Holograph Wills Not Valid In British Columbia (BC)

Please note that since the date of this original blog, the curative provisions of s 58 of WESA may have altered the law relating to the topic of holograph wills. Holograph wills are ones that is entirely written and signed by the testator, but does not have the… Read more

Who Gets What When There is No Will (Intestate)

What happens when there is no will? My late mother used to tell me even when I was an established estate lawyer that when someone dies without a will, his or her assets go to the government. No matter how hard I tried, I could… Read more

Client Privilege and the Wills Cases Exception

Client privilege and the wills cases exception are the few line of cases that will not remain privileged after death. It is very frequent in estate litigation that for various reasons, the disinherited parties often wish to obtain the wills files of the solicitor who drafted… Read more

The Presumption Against Intestacy

Presumption Against Intestacy In Wills Interpretation Re Murray Estate 2007 BCSC 1035 has been previously blogged by disinherited.com and is a good case relating to the rules of construction in interpreting a will. One of the golden rules of wills interpretation is that the court… Read more

Tracing and Accounting For Assets

Tracing & Accounting For Assets It is very common in estate litigation that the form of an asset may change substantially over a period of time. For example a bank account of cash can be converted into a stock portfolio, which in turn can be used… Read more

Agreements Not to Revoke a Will

Binding Agreement Not to Revoke Will Kayne v Wright et al  2012 BCSC 119 is an excellent example of “mutual wills” which on occasion arise in estate litigation disputes. The general principle in law is that a will is always revocable. Most married couples execute… Read more

Lost Wills and the Presumption of Revocation

Lost Wills and the Presumption of Revocation An update to this article is that since the introduction of WESA on April 1, 2014, I anticipate that the courts will be more willing to allow copies of wills as proof of the testator’s intention to more… Read more