Wills Variation Claim of Four Year Common-law Spouse Dismissed

The claim of a common-law  spouse whose husband was killed after approximately 4 years cohabitation was dismissed  for a number of reasons, some  in Eckford v. Rhonda Vanderwood et al 2013 BCSC 1729, included the fact that the widow earned substantially more than the deceased each year, and… Read more

Court Refuses to Approve Partial Wills Variation Settlement

The Supreme Court of British Columbia in   Henney v Sander 2014 BCSC 889 refused to approve a partial wills variation settlement made of the $25 million estate that involved settlement with some of the parties but not all of them. The deceased failed to provide for his wife… Read more

Abandoned Infant Wins Wills Variation Action, Not Estranged From Parent

Abandoned children are often disinherited later in life under the pretence of  being estranged from the parent  who typically deserted the child  and remained distant thereafter. The child under these circumstances is owed a strong moral obligation to be provided for by the deceased’s estate,… Read more

What the Court Needs to Know to Win a Wills Variation Action

S 60 of WESA allows the court to exercise its discretion re the claims of spouses and children against the assets of a deceased’s estate, on the basis that they were not adequately provided for in the estate.   The right to bring a Wills… Read more

Wills Variation Act Not Affected By WESA

The original plan for WESA was to restrict the right of an independent adult child to bring a claim against his or her parents estate on the basis that he or she will was not adequately provided for. A great deal of discussion took place… Read more

Interest Is Claimable on Lump Sum Wills Variation Awards

While it is much more common for courts to award a percentage of the residue of an estate to a wills variation claimant, it does on occasion occur where the court will order a lump sum award which may include interest..   That is a… Read more

Court Divides Estate Equally Between Son and Neighbours -Wills Variation Act

The Court Divides  Estate Equally Between Disinherited son and a long time friendly neighbour in wills variation action: Moore v. Drummond, 2013 BCSC 1762   [4] The new will, dated January 18, 2010, said : 7. My reasons for providing for my neighbours, CASEY MOORE and CLARA… Read more

Appeal Court Upholds Will Not Specifically Made In Contemplation of Marriage

2010 BCCA 374 MacLean Estate v. Christiansen COURT OF APPEAL FOR BRITISH COLUMBIA Citation: MacLean Estate v. Christiansen, 2010 BCCA 374 For many years, marriage has revoked a will unless the will was made in contemplation of that marriage this has caused untold hardships and… Read more

BC Court Rules Sperm Freezer at UBC Was Like a “Warehouse Rental”

  Lam vs the University of British Columbia 2013BCSC 2094, involved a class-action suit brought by hundreds of sperm donors that had stored their sperm with the defendant University, and their sperm was damaged as a result of the sperm freezer malfunctioning. At issue was… Read more

30 Year Commonlaw Spouse Awarded $150,000 More Than His Half of the Assets

Griese v Syvret 2013 BCSC 1601 is a wills very action trial involving a couple that lived in a commonlaw relationship for 30 years before the death of the commonlaw spouse in 2010 at age 84. Her major asset was the matrimonial home which they both… Read more

What Happens to Your Data After You Die?

Reprinted From Forbes Magazine. When you die, you’ll leave behind a digital presence – dead data, or a graveyard in the cloud. The only things certain in life are death and data. Data After You Die? Every year, Facebook cheerfully suggests I reconnect with some friends… Read more

Forfeiture Clauses in Wills

Bellinger v. Fayers, Nuytten  2003  BCSC  563 discussed inter alia forfeiture clauses in wills On June 11, 2002, Justice Hood handed down Reasons for Judgment, subsequent to the trial reasons,  in the case of Bellinger v. Fayers, Nuytten. In this case I represented the plaintiff,… 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

Wills Variation Act Not Changed Under WESA

In the summer of 2006 the British Columbia Law Institute delivered to the Attorney General a sweeping report entitled Wills, Estates and Succession: A Modern Legal Framework. Many of that report’s recommendations involve well-considered and welcome changes. There are two recommendations in that report, however,… Read more