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

Administration Durante Absentia

Section 7 of the Estate Administration Act allows the court to appoint a person to administer an estate or part of it where an executor resides out of the province “and it appears to the court to be necessary or convenient by reason of the… Read more

Administration By Attorney

Rule 21 (27) provides for the administration of an estate by an attorney.: “ If a person entitled to administration resides outside British Columbia, administration by attorney, or administration with the will annexed, may be granted to the person or the person’s attorney acting under… Read more

Administration Ad Colligenda Bona

Several years ago disinherited.com had an estate where the deceased had substantial assets that needed protection, while it took in excess of two years to locate his very distant next of kin in the far-off Ukraine. He had died intestate and no person came forward… Read more

What Is Double Probate?

Executors frequently appoint more than one person as his or her personal representative, and on occasion not all parties who are entitled to apply for probate actually do. However at the same time they do not renounce their executor ship and reserve the right to… Read more

Copy of Will Not Admitted to Probate, as No Proof Original Was Ever Signed

Re Whitehead Estate 2010 BCSC 348, the deceased was a founding member of a credit union and a retired bank manager. After his death, a “trued up” copy of will dated December 21, 1979 was found, but the original of that will was never located. Under… Read more

When Can a Will Draftman’s Notes Be Admissible to Interpret a Will Meaning?

Re Hoedl Estate 2012 ONSC 6857 involves the issue of whether the drafting solicitors notes are admissible at a hearing to interpret a will meaning. The executor of the deceased estate was also the solicitor who drafted the will. The executor initially advised of one… Read more

Presumption of Resulting Trust Rebutted By Evidence of Love and Affection

There is a presumption of resulting trust over a gift when a substantial asset is transferred for little or no consideration,-here the presumption was overcome by evidence of love and affection. Oord v Oord 2012 BCSC 1857 is the classic scenario where a well-intentioned family… Read more

Executor Compensation Is Taxable Unless Gifted In the Will

Disinherited.com has seen innumerable estate disputes concerning the amount of executor compensation and trustee is entitled. Under the Trustee Act in British Columbia, the maximum is 5% and it would appear that most executors feel entitled to claim this amount. Executor compensation can be particularly… Read more

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