Son May Not Inherit For Murdering Mother

Re Fenotti Estate 2014 BCSC 1533 reviewed the law and held that a murderer of the deceased, his mother, son may not inherit from her as a result of public policy that prevents a wrong doer from benefiting from his or her own crime. The personal… Read more

The Meaning of “All Remaining Cash” In a Will

Jones v BC Public Trustee (1982) 5 WWR 543, dealt with the interpretation of the words ” all remaining cash after expenses” in the deceased’s will. The deceased left a home made will, where after several specific bequests, he provided that ” all remaining cash… Read more

Bequest to Non Existent Charity Saved By Cy-Pres Doctrine

  In Re McGregor Estate 2014 BCSC 896, the deceased left a bequest to “Auxiliary to Woodlands”, a charitable organization that no longer existed at the time of death, but was saved from lapsing as a bequest of the estate by the application of the… Read more

How Courts Interpret Unclear Wills

How Courts Interpret Unclear Wills? Whether a will is prepared by a lawyer or a layman, it is often the case that the will or a portion thereof is unclear as to its intention or meaning, and when that is the case is referred to… Read more

Special Costs- What Are They?

  Special costs , in a nutshell means that the losing party pays all the  legal fees of the winning party, and are being awarded on an increasingly frequent basis for reprehensible behavior. The general public by and large for many decades already thought that… Read more

The “Badges of Fraud”

Fraud is a deception deliberately practiced in order to secure unfair or unlawful gain (adjectival form fraudulent; to defraud is the verb, and the Badges of Fraud are used by the court s as rough gauge as to whether Fraud exists in the situation or not.. As a… Read more

Mistakes In Wills and How To Fix Them

    Mistakes in wills are frequently made and then subsequently not discovered until typically many years later after the passing of the will maker. The usual types of mistakes  break into two areas- that the will was not properly executed in accordance with established… Read more

Power of Citations Expanded

Power of Citations Expanded Under WESA New Probate Rule 25-11 greatly expands the power and effect of issuing a Citation. The form prescribed in P32 is much more detailed in the information required. The person cited with the Citation has 14 days of personal service… Read more

Court Can Cure Formal Defects In a Will

Court Can Cure Formal Defects In a Will After April 1, 2014 Sections 58 and 59 of WESA are clearly the most significant differences between the former legislations and the new legislation to be brought into effect on March 31, 2014. These two sections basically… Read more

Lawyers Questionnaire Admitted Into Probate Will

Garnett Estate v Garnett Estate 2013 BCSC 1731 is an interesting case where pre WESA, a lawyers questionnaire re will instructions was determined by the court to be a valid will and admitted into probate. In this case the executrix brought an action to prove the will… Read more

The Doctrine of Ademption By Conversion

  The doctrine of ademption by conversion — a rule of the law of wills whereby a specific bequest “adeems”, or fails, if at the testator’s death the specified property is not found among his or her assets — either because the testator has parted… Read more

What Is a Testamentary Document?

It is often difficult to determine if a document is testamentary or not when it purportedly takes effect upon death. Shortly before writing this article, I settled a Wills Variation action on the eve of trial where the deceased had deliberately used an estate planning… Read more

Dysfunctional Families Are Everywhere

  Dysfunctional families are everywhere.   Some years ago the Vancouver Sun ran a feature on dysfunctional families and  reported that one in three British Columbians expect to be disinherited by their parents. Practising estate litigation for over 40 years, it is easy to believe… Read more

Wrongly Described Bequests

If  the court comes to the conclusion that the testator intended to pass a bequest, and can determine what that something is, then the fact that the testator wrongly described the bequest  in his or her  will, does not prevent the will taking effect in regard… Read more

No Lack of Capacity or Undue Influence – Will Admitted to Probate

Chang Estate v Chang 2013 BCSC 976 is a well considered judgement of Justice Dardi, who had extensive experience in estate litigation prior to her elevation to the Bench. The testatrix,a widow, died in 2007 at age 98. She and her late husband had four… Read more