Common Law Spouse of 21 Years Awarded %70 Estate

  The plaintiff and the deceased lived together in a common-law marriage like relationship for 21 years in a house owned by Rose. At the time of cohabitation, Rose was divorced and the deceased was separated. Rose had one child from a previous relationship.   At… Read more

Who Owns Your Digital Data After Death

Reprinted from the Economist July 18,2013 The Economist explains Who owns your digital data after death ? AFTER we die, our bodies are reduced to dust or ash, through burial or cremation. The fate of the digital corpuses we leave behind is rather more complicated. Before… Read more

Charitable Gifts

Canadian tax laws are structured such that in the area of estate planning, donations if made to a registered charity, can give rise to tax credits that can be used to offset the income of the deceased. Accordingly, if a deceased person leaves a charitable… Read more

Gift to Child at Age 65 Collapsed So Gift Paid Now Under Rule of Saunders v Vautier

Rule of Saunders v Vautier For various reasons parents often wish to delay any bequest to a child for many years, often to the point where the child would be a senior citizen before the child inherited. Very often these types of trusts provide that… Read more

Court Adds Bequest to Will Omitted By Drafting Solicitor

Drafting Solicitor Daradick v McKeand Estate 82 ETR (3d) 324, the Ontario Supreme Court made a very practical decision to allow the rectification of the will where there had been obvious drafting solicitor negligence in omitting a specific and substantial bequest. The case reviews both… Read more

Blended Family Wills and Estates Issues

Blended family situations with respect to estate disputes are common as the families have not in fact often “blended”. As such members of the family often resort to the provisions of the BC wills variation act, now after April 1, 2014, incorporated into the provisions… Read more

Court Considers the Equities of Assets that Passed Outside of the Estate

In Nightingale v Hepting 2010 BCSC 1214, the evidence was that the testator wanted to marry H, whom he met in 1976, but that they instead remained friends and vacationed together, and that H drove the testator around . H had a net worth of… Read more

Adult Child’s Share In Will Doubled to 50% For Invalid Reasons

Share In Will Doubled to 50% For Adult Ch ild Under Wills Variation Act Schipper v. Schipper Estate 2010 BCSC 1067 The Plaintiff adult daughter was only child of the testator and her husband. The daughter had very close relationship with her parents until about three years… Read more

Elderly Spouse Awarded The Home and Half of the Residue

Orr v Orr 2013 BCSC 208 is a wills variation action d brought by an 82 year old surviving spouse who was not adequately provided for in her husband’s last will, and whom was awarded the house and half the residue. He died at age… Read more

Lost Will Results In Presumption of Intestacy

Thierman Estate v Thurman 2013 BCSC 503, involved a testator who died in 2010 at the age of 92, leaving a copy of his 2006 will in a dresser or in his bedroom. A search for the original will that had been in his safety… Read more

“Wishes” and “Requests” Are Not Legally Binding In Will Construction

Will Construction Rudaczyk Estate v Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Assn. 1989 ( 34) ETR 231 involved a court application to interpret and construct a will with a memorandum executed the same time as the will and in accordance with the requirements for execution of the will…. Read more

Executor Appointed Amicus (Friend) of Court to Defend Wills Variation Claim

Defend Wills Variation Claim Ketcham v Walton 2012 BCSC 175 [10] The basic principle of an Executor’s duty to specified and potential beneficiaries of the Will is neutrality. [11] Mr. Justice Bouck stated in Quirico v. Pepper Estate (1999), 22 B.C.T.C. 32 at paras. 15-17:… Read more

Special Costs Awarded Against Plaintiffs Who Alleged But Failed to Prove Undue Influence

Stewart v McLean 2010 BCSC is one of several decisions where plaintiffs have alleged, and then failed to prove an allegation of undue influence. The rationale is that undue influence is a form of civil fraud, which is a serious allegation to advance. Special costs… Read more

Beneficiaries Can Refuse Disclaim an Inheritance

Refuse Disclaim an Inheritance What do you do when a formerly beloved relative dies, bequeathing to you a piece of swampland polluted by atomic waste? Must you accept this “gift”? The legal answer is clearly “No” so long as you disclaim the gift in a… Read more

General Rule In Wills Variation Actions Is Loser Pays the Winners Court Costs

Wills Variation Actions Todd v Walker 2009 BCSC 537 is authority for the above proposition re costs. The parties were half siblings. The deceased left $1 to her daughter plaintiff, and the residue to her son, who was also the executor. At trial the daughter… Read more