Civil Conspiracy

Civil Conspiracy

Klaus v. Hamilton, 2015 BCSC 2386 involved a claimant who sued alleging he was a spouse of the deceased, for a variance of her will and for damages for civil conspiracy for alleging he was not a spouse. The tort of civil conspiracy has two branches (Cement… Read more

Court Discretion In Wills Variation Claims

Court Discretion In Wills Variation Claims

In wills variation cases now brought under S. 60 WESA , the judge has “entire discretion” in deciding pro or against a claimant on its findings of fact. In Swain v Dennison 1967 SCR 7 the Supreme Court of Canada held that the jurisdiction of… Read more

Court Overturns Man's Will on Moral Grounds

BC Court Overturns Man’s Will on Moral Grounds

The British Columbia Court over turned and varied a will where his four daughters had been left with nothing. William Werbenuk died more than two years ago with just enough money in the bank to pay for his funeral. The 86-year-old widower’s will gave all… Read more

Disabled Adult Succeeds Wills Variation

Disabled Adult Succeeds Wills Variation

Willott v. Willott Estate 1997 CarswellBC 2016, [1997] B.C.J. No. 2073, 20 E.T.R. (2d) 211 is a 1997 wills variation action where a deceased parent’s estate was required to pay additional monies to a disabled son who unable to work, survived on a small disability… Read more

Will Varied to Give Daughter Entire Estate

Will Varied to Give Daughter Entire Estate

Hagen-Bourgeault v. Martens 2016 BCSC 1096 varied a will (S. 60 WESA) to give a 25 year old daughter with two young children on social assistance, the entire estate of $2,200 per month until 2025, instead of her husband of two years who was well… Read more

Interim Payments Under Wills Variation

Interim Payments Under Wills Variation

Grant v Grant estate 1997 Carswell BC 3773 allowed a widow in need of funds to receive interim payments under the wills variation provisions of WESA. The Grant and Hecht cases are only a few reported cases of the ability to apply to court for an… Read more

Public Policy Protects Wills Variation Claims

Public Policy Protects Wills Variation Claims

If a will contains a penalty provision, known as a forfeiture clause, threatening to impose a penalty upon a beneficiary if a will is contested, then in that event,  wills variation claims are protected by public policy so that such a clause is not enforceable in… Read more

Wills Variation – Elderly Common Law Spouse

  Mars v Blais 2011 BCSC 1714 involved a 91 year old widow who brought a wills variation action ( now S. 60 WESA) against the estate of her late common law partner of 9 years. The wills variation  action was prior to WESA but… Read more

Executor Cannot Use Estate Funds To Defend Personally

Executor Cannot Use Estate Funds To Defend Personally

In a Wills variation claim ( now section 60, WESA) an executor cannot use estate funds to defend him or herself if a beneficiary, and may  use reasonable estate  funds to defend the claim but only in the capacity of executor and not beneficiary. In… Read more

Long Delayed Court Action Justified

An application for dismissal of the court action for want of prosecution was dismissed when the court found that the reasons for the 13 year delay of the court action was justified. The law relating to dismissal for want of prosecution was recently summarized in… Read more

S 60 WESA (Wills Variation) – Second Marriages/Families

  Wong v Soo 2015 BCSC 1741 involves the increasingly familiar fact scenario of second or third marriages resulting in the death of one spouse and leaving his or her entire estate to the children of the first marriage to the exclusion of the surviving… Read more

S. 60 WESA (Wills Variation) Explained

  I was counsel for the plaintiffs in both the WESA case Brown v Pearce Estate 2014 BCSC 1402 which relied upon the law as set out in detail in McBride v Voth estate 2010 BCSC 443 in which I was also counsel, and both… Read more

Children Defined Under S.60 WESA

Children Defined Under S.60 WESA

The decision of Sari v Sari 2015 BCSC 1865, while essentially an application for costs, reviews the law as to what the definition of a child or children is for the purposes of having the necessary standing to bring an action under S 60 WESA to… Read more

Wills Variation: Appealing a Judge's Exercise of Discretion

Wills Variation: Appealing a Judge’s Exercise of Discretion

Judges have a broad discretion in their judicial interpretation of wills variation cases and generally speaking, a litigant cannot appeal finds of fact made by the trial Judge after exercising that discretion. Appeal court are reluctant to substitute their discretion for that of the trial… Read more

Wills Variation – Long Time Spouses “Non Traditional”

A five court appeal panel heard Kish v Sobachak Estate 2016 BCCA 65 , reduced  a wills variation award involving two long time companions who met later in life having had children from previous marriages. They remained financially independent, maintained separate homes, and did not wish to… Read more