Expert Reports and Opinions

Many estate litigation cases involve the necessity of obtaining an expert opinion in the form of a written  report that summarizes the evidence that  the expert  will  and opinion give at trial. The expert must set out the factual assumptions and documents that were relied upon in… Read more

WESA Probate Delivery Rules

Re Davies estate 2014 BCSC 1233 deals with the WESA probate rules relating to the 21 day notice and proof of delivery of that notice. This blog will be of note to anyone applying for a grant of probate or administration as to the requirements… Read more

Passing Over – Removing An Executor

Special circumstances sometimes occur where it is appropriate for the Court to Pass Over the named executor in favour of another  which effectively removes the named executor In Re Thomasson Estate, 2011 BCSC 481 the court Passed over the named executor by reason of personal conflict… Read more

WESA Will Framework

The statutory framework of WESA ( Estates, Succession and Wills act) was set out in British Columbia v Sheaffer 2015 BCSC 1306 where the court held that an improperly executed  will  prior to the enactment of WESA on March 31, 2014 could not be rectified by the… Read more

Production of Social Media Documents

Social Media Documents Almost all trial lawyers scour social medial such as Facebook to find out more about the opposing counsel and parties and it is absolutely amazing what can frequently be found that is highly relevant to the court case. Even more amazing is… Read more

Will Interpretation Law

Dunn v TD Canada Trust 2016 BCSC 270 was a Rule 9-7 application to determine the words directing the trustee  to retain in the form in which they are at the time of my death all investments in bonds and stocks which they had done… Read more

Discovery On Credibility Not Allowed

The issue of credibility in estate litigation is often raised as the stories between the conflicting parties are often so different that they are hard to reconcile in any way.   One of such credibility issues that sometimes occurs is the opposing counsel asking if… Read more

Wills Variation and Discretion

Wills Variation and Discretion

One of the difficulties in advising clients in wills variation cases is that under the WESA provisions relating to the variance of wills, the trial judge has an absolute discretion in his or her award, if any, under the act. The five panel appeal decision… Read more

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