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

Gratuitous Land Transfer Is a Trust

McKendry v McKendry 2015 BCSC 2433 dealt with a very common fact pattern in estate disputes- where a parent puts the property in joint names with one child and excludes the  other children, thus disinheriting them. In  McKendy the transfer was held to be a… Read more

Percentage Awards In Wills Variation Claims Favoured

The Courts prefer to use percentage awards in wills variation claims rather than specific sums. One of the major reason is the fluctuation in value of  some assets over time.   The recent dramatic rise in lower mainland property values has presented a mild dilemma… Read more

Infants Win Entire Estate

Heatherfield (Litigation Guardian) v Heatherfield 2015 BCSC 505 varies a will from his ex spouse to  entirely in favour of infant children under the Wills Variation act which is now incorporated into the provisions of WESA ( Wills Estate and Succession act).   Heatherfield is… Read more

Interlineations On Will and Wills Variation Act (WESA)

Interlineations Many will makers write proposed changes on their will after its execution in the mistaken belief that these interlineations are legally binding, but they are not. ( The Wills Variation act is now contained within WESA, the Wills Estates and Succession act) Heatherfeld v Heatherfield… Read more

Spousal Wills Variation Claims

Spousal Wills Variation Claims Tippett v Tippett 2015 BCSC 291 is probably the most thorough analysis of the law since the Supreme Court of Canada in Tataryn  relating to how the claims of a surviving spouse vs. the estate of the deceased spouse is analysed… Read more

Estranged Adult Child Awarded %40 MOdest Estate

A disrespectful, estranged adult child and almost abusive,who was also virtually unemployable and living on welfare, was awarded 40% of the $50,000 estate of his mother, Bronson v Bronson Estate 1996 BCJ 3038 The plaintiff was raised as a single child in abject poverty by… Read more

Willmaker Owes Legal And Moral Obligation to Child

A willmaker, (formerly known as a testator), owes both a Legal and a Moral obligation to child. In B. v. Taylor 2008 BCSC 1498 is one of the surprisingly few cases to discuss what the appropriate division of an estate is when considering an infant child or children…. Read more

Adult Child Gets %50+ in Wills Variation Claim

Generally speaking, there is no law under the wills variation act that says children must be treated equally by a deceased parent, and it has been unusual for a sole disinherited child to receive greater than 50% of an estate  in a wills variation claim…. Read more

Secret Relationship Found Non Marriage Like

Chowdhury v Argenti et al 2007 BCSC 1207 involved an unjust enrichment/wills variation  claim by a homosexual lover of 14 years with the deceased, that was dismissed on the basis that their relationship was entirely secret and they did not hold themselves out to the… Read more

The Legal Obligation to Provide For Infants

Heatherfield ( Litigation Guardian of) v Heatherfield Estate 2015 BCSC 505    is one of the few reported cases as to of what constitutes adequate provision for a minor, dependent child beyond the decision in Cameron (Public Trustee of) v. Cameron Estate (1991), 41 E.T.R. 30 (B.C.S.C.) [Cameron]…. Read more

Spouse Claim Dismissed Due to Joint Tenancy

Spouse Claim Dismissed Eckford v Van Der Woude 2013 BCSC 1729 involves a wills variation that dismissed the surviving spouse’s claim under the wills variation act, by reason that she inherited the matrimonial home as a surviving joint tenant. The deceased had left a will… Read more

Physically Disabled Adult Awarded Entire Estate

Disabled people, both mentally or physically or both, are often extremely short changed in their inheritance. This blog involves a case Trevor Todd handled for a physically disabled married adult who was literally treated like a child by her entire extended family. Dale was initially beqeathed… Read more

Deceased Beneficiary May Claim Wills Variation (WESA)

A Wills Variation Action  ( S. 60 WESA) may Be commenced even after death of Disappointed Beneficiary by his or her personal representative as per Currie Estate v Bowen ( 1989) 35 BCLR (2d) 46. In that case the husband died six weeks before his… Read more

Onus on Parent to Reconcile With Child Abandoned By Parent

Child Abandoned By Parent In Wills Variation Claims   Austin v Janzen 2006 BCSC 2100 was a case of mine where a mother abandoned her daughter at a young age and then later disinherited her, so we filed a wills variation action and took it… Read more