Public Policy Voids Homophobic Will

An Ontario judge in Royal trust Corp. of Canada v The University of Western Ontario et al 2016 ONSC 1143 has struck down a deceased doctor Priebe’s  attempt to set up university scholarships exclusively for white, single and heterosexual students, ruling the unusual stipulations clash… Read more

Enforcing Foreign Judgements

Ace Life Insurance Co. v Li 2015 BCSC 2533 held that a judgement against the defendant for $100,000 in Hong Kong as the personal representative of her late husband’s estate for court costs as the losing party in an action she brought on behalf of… Read more

Spousal Separation Needs Intention

Spousal Separation It is often difficult for third parties to know if a spousal couple has “legally” separated or not and a sudden death will invariably lead to litigation over the issue. The Courts have established in Manitoba, and I believe it would be followed… Read more

Will Witnesses No Longer Required

WILL WITNESSES NO LONGER REQUIRED   For my first 40 years of practice, and for time immemorial before , there were strict requirements for the execution of a will – a failure thereof could result in an invalid or partially invalid will. That all changed… Read more

Wills Interpretation Guidelines

Eberwein Estate v. Saleem, 2012 BCSC 250 (B.C. S.C.), the executor sought advice and direction from the court regarding bequests in a Will which were unclear, and the court set out the general guidelines for wills interpretation.   [30] Courts are greatly suspicious of attempts… Read more

Incorporation By Reference

Incorporation by reference typically occurs when a trust company is appointed executor and the deceased’s will makes reference to a certain fee agreement entered into between the then client and the trust company to retain their services as executor/trustee and to pay a  fee schedule…. Read more

Missing Heirs

People, including heirs, go missing for all sorts of reasons all the time. This of course presents a problem to an executor who must serve all heirs under the will, and anyone who would inherit on an intestacy, along with a copy of any application for probate… Read more

Solicitor Client Privilege and the Will File

Solicitor client privilege and the will file can often end up in a tug of war between the executor upholding a claim of privilege after the death of the estate deceased, and beneficiaries who want to see the lawyers notes and other file contents of… Read more

Christina and Capi-05

Pet Trusts

Pet Trusts Today’s news mentioned that a deceased left $100,000 to care for her 12 parrots. At first blush this may seem unreasonable, but given that her wealth was in excess of 5 1/2 million dollars, and the long life expectancy of parrots, this may… Read more

Admissibility of Out of Court Statements

Admissibility of Out of Court Statements Documents such as diaries, notes, letters and various statements made by witnesses out-of-court, are normally not admissible by reason of hearsay, but may be admissible if adduced for a purpose other than proof of its contents, when it then… Read more

Executor Court Actions Before Probate

Executor Court Actions Before Probate The law seems to be clear that an executor can bring an action in his or her capacity as executor before probate is granted but cannot obtain judgment in the action without probate having been granted:  see Chetdy v. Chetdy,… Read more

Proof of Will In Solemn Form vs. Common Form

When the validity of a will is in question, the propoundor of the will is often forced to prove the validity of the will in solemn form, by commencing a court action and having a judge determine the wills validity, as opposed to a non… Read more

Registrar Says It Is Role of Courts to Interpret Documents

A Registrar declined to interpret documents on a  Passing of Accounts hearing in Lam v Daphne’s Fund ( Trustee of) 2015 BCSC 623, in effect stating that it was the role of the  Courts to construe underlying trust documents and not the Registrar.   Since the… Read more

Who Owns Found Money?

Who Owns Found Money? The basic and ancient principle of law that governs such situations where the finder of a chattel/Money acquires good title to it against all but the true owner or one enjoying a superior title   -Armory v Delamirie (1722) 1 Str.505 (… Read more

Funeral Costs Must Be Reasonable

Chernichan v. Chernichan Estate 2001 CarswellAlta 1730, 2001 ABQB 913, basically held that while funeral expenses are a top priority of the estate debts, the funeral costs themselves must be reasonable in relationship to the financial situation of the deceased, particularly where there is an… Read more