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

"Adopted Out" Child Cannot Contest Biological Parent's Estate Under Wills Variation

“Adopted Out” Child Cannot Contest Biological Parent’s Estate Under Wills Variation

Boer v Mikaloff Estate 2017 BCSC 21 confirmed that an “adopted out” child cannot contest the will of the biological parent’s estate under S.60 WESA (the wills variation provision) when it answered the following posed question negatively: Does a child who is adopted by other… Read more

Amending Court Pleadings

Amending Court Pleadings

Russell Estate v Larson 2017 BCSC 113 contains a good summary of the law relating to amending court pleadings. Pleadings are very important in litigation so as to give a concise definition of the issues to be tried and to allow the opposing party to… Read more

Executor Added After Expiration of Wills Variation Limitation

Executor Added After Expiration of Wills Variation Limitation

 Under the provisions of section 60 WESA, an action under the wills variation provisions must be commenced within 180 days of the grant of probate or the action is statute barred. In the 1987 decision Cowan v Cowan 17 BCLR ( 2d) 114, the plaintiff… Read more

Damage Assessments on Appeal

Damage Assessments on Appeal

“An appellate court will not interfere with a trial judge’s assessment of damages unless he or she erred in principle of law, misapprehended the evidence, failed to consider relevant factors or considered irrelevant factors, or there was no evidence on which the judge could have… Read more

The Court’s Power to Conrol Itself (Vexatious Litigants)

Semenoff Estate v Semenoff 2017 BCCA 17 involved the Appeal Court reviewing the power of the court to control it’s own conduct and that of  vexatious litigants appearing in court. The case arose from an appeal of 30 issues from a summary judgement hearing  and… Read more

Judicial Bias

Allegations of judicial bias occasionally make the news when a litigant asserts that the proposed  Judge is so biased that a fair trial cannot be obtained, and the Judge is asked to recuse him or herself. Bias is very different from a court finding a… Read more

Dementia disease

Dementia disease

An epidemic of dementia disease is predicted to occur within the next 15-20 years. The most common types of dementia disease such as Alzheimers, frontotemporal dementia, vascular dementia, and Lewy Bodies are expected to dramatically increase by %50  over the next 15 -20 years as… Read more

The Defence of Mistake

The Law of Mistake

Teather v Kawashima 2016  BCSC  2231 involved litigation where the defence of mistake was argued and the Court reviewed the law. When parties are negotiating a contract it may occur that  one party is thinking of one thing while the other party is thinking of… Read more

"Survive By Five Days"

“Survive By Five Days”

S  10 of WESA provides for when a person does not survive a deceased person by five (5) days or longer when provided for in an instrument(  ie a will) is conclusively deemed to have died before the deceased persona for all purposes and thus will… Read more

Fertility and WESA: Is This Reproductive Matter Property?

Fertility and WESA

A deceased husband’s frozen sperm at a fertility centre was declared to be personal property under WESA and previous case law and thus could be inherited by the widow on an intestacy. The court in KLW v Genesis Fertility Centre 2016 BCSC 1621 ordered to release of… Read more

Who Can Be an Expert Witness?

Who Can Be an Expert Witness?

The complexity  litigation issues  has increased the need and use of expert witnesses, and just who can be one is sometime an issue in itself. Some of the experts that I have  utilized over years of estate litigation are geriatric psychiatrists, accountants and forensic auditors, and… Read more

Laches

Laches

Laches was discussed and rejected by the court in Grewal v Khakh 2016 BCSC 2055, where the court quoted the Supreme Court of Canada: 52           In  M. (K.) v. M. (H.), , [1992] 3 S.C.R. 6, [1992] S.C.J. No. 85 (S.C.C.) at para. 98, where the… Read more

Gifts In Contemplation of Death

Gifts In Contemplation of Death

Deathbed gifts happen surprisingly often. It is relatively common for people, during their last days, to make sizable gifts to caregivers and loved ones. Frequently the purported gift is at odds with the will of the dying person. Like deathbed wills, deathbed gifts’ often result… Read more

Assets Passing Outside of the Estate

Assets Passing Outside of the Estate

Assets Passing – Probably most people in North America die holding assets that pass from their name to others or their estate that pass both ” inside” and “outside” of the estate. A deceased’s will only distributes assets that were personally owned by the deceased at… Read more