Advising The Personal Representative

1. INTRODUCTION It is perhaps trite to state that the role of the drafting notary or solicitor is simply not to fill in the blanks and record the testator’s instructions, including his or her choice of executor, but instead to actively advise and draw to… Read more

The Use of Discretionary Trusts in Estate Planning

1. INTRODUCTION I always fell asleep during my law school trusts class. I could never have imagined then what an important role trusts would come to play in my day-to-day career as a Wills and Estates lawyer. I suspect that there are many other lawyers,… Read more

The Cy-Pres Doctrine

Those of us living in Vancouver know Children’s Hospital–surely that goes without saying. Check a little closer, however, and you may be surprised to learn that no such legal entity exists. In estate law it is relatively common to discover that a charitable institution, named… Read more

Revocation of Wills

Every will is revocable even a will, whose terms purport to make it irrevocable, is in fact revocable. Generally speaking a will may be either be revoked by the operation of law or may be deliberately revoked by the testator . Deliberate revocation requires a… Read more

Cost Awards in Estate Litigation

1. INTRODUCTION Cost awards are the amount of monies that a Court awards one litigant against another as a contribution towards legal fees incurred. Until recent years, practitioners in estate litigation , had little to fear with respect to costs awards. Win or lose, the… Read more

The Use of DNA in Estate Litigation

DNA in Estate Litigation The Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA for short) is the genetic code found in the nucleus of each of our body cells and is increasingly used in estate litigation. Because each person’s genetic code is unique, it is like a genetic “fingerprint”. Initially… Read more

The Remedial Constructive Trust

1. INTRODUCTION Constructive trusts have been evolving for more than two centuries. However, it has only been in the last several years that it is now developed to the point where it is almost impossible to predict and define all the circumstances in which its… Read more

Forced Sale of Jointly Owned Property

Forced Sale of Jointly Owned Property In Mowat v Dudas 2012 BCSC 454, the court exercised its discretion to refuse an order for a forced-sale of the Cypress Gardens condo development of 177 units owned by 135 different owners. Each was a co-owner of the… Read more

Misrepresentation

Buccilli v Pillitteri 2012 ONSC 6624, is a misrepresentation case. It involved a family estate dispute after a tragic death where all the parties had a one third interest in a family business. After the deceased’s death, his surviving widow, on the advice of her… Read more

Keeping Your Will Out of Court

1. INTRODUCTION Probably the best way that a lawyer or Notary can keep his or her Will out of court is to always bear in mind the end use of the product. The primary goal of a client in executing a Will is to ensure… Read more

Administrator Appointed Pending Litigation

Independent Administrator Appointed For  Estate Assets Pending Litigation, aka administrator pendent lite. A common feature of many estate  disputes  is the acrimonious nature between the various claimants to the assets of the deceased. In fact, certain cases become renowned within the profession and the courts… Read more