How to Sever a Joint Tenancy With a Co Owner

A prospective client called yesterday inquiring whether three siblings who had joint tenancy with a fourth sibling, can force a sale so as to buy out the troublemaking fourth sibling. I answered yes,  as the Partition of Property act allows for a severance of the… Read more

The Formalities of a Valid Marriage

The Formalities of a Valid Marriage    45 If the parties to a marriage, solemnized in good faith and intended to be in compliance with the legislation, are not under a legal disqualification to contract such marriage and have lived together and cohabited as a… Read more

Seniors-Avoid Joint Bank Accounts

I have seen many seniors financially abused by setting up a joint bank account with a child/caregiver/neighbour/friend  who takes advantage to the point where I advise seniors to avoid their use. I recently came across a Maclean’s magazine article dated April 4, 2011 entitled “Signing… Read more

The Partition Act -Courts Order Co-Owned Property Sold

Whether property be owned as tenants in common, or as joint tenants, if the parties cannot agree on the sale of the property, the BC Court has the power to do so under the provisions of the Partition of Property Act RSBC. The jurisdiction to… Read more

1961 SCC Case Holds an Unregistered Transfer of Land Severs a Joint Tenancy

Sever JT SCC stonehouse. 1961 CarswellBC 159, 37 W.W.R. 62, [1962] S.C.R. 103, 31 D.L.R. (2d) 118 Stonehouse v. British Columbia (Attorney General) Stonehouse (Plaintiff) Appellant v. Attorney-General of British Columbia (Defendant) Respondent Supreme Court of Canada Judgment: December 15, 1961 Family Law — Family… Read more

Seniors Beware of Care For Life Agreements

Seniors often fall victim to the best of intentioned Care For Life Agreements with a child, that often turn disastrous. I was recently retained by a senior who advanced over $400,000.00 to his only son and his wife. He did so on the understanding they… Read more

Delusions and Testamentary Capacity

Delusions are often overlooked as a cause for lack of mental capacity. I was recently retained by a sister of a deceased person who advised that in her opinion, she had been disinherited from her late brother’s will as a result of his cocaine abuse…. Read more

Mental Capacity And Marriage

Mental Capacity And Marriage

The law is currently in error with respect to this area, stating that only a low level of capacity is required for marriage. I question in light of that, why about one quarter of lawyers earn their keep trying to get people out of the… Read more

The Pitfalls of Joint Tenancy

The Pitfalls of Joint Tenancy For many years estate planners have advised their clients to transfer their assets into joint tenancy ownership with loved ones so they may inherit by right of survivorship and avoid paying legal and probate fees. The rationale has been that… Read more

Vancouver Estate Claims – Have You Been Disinherited?

Have You Been Disinherited? 1. MENTAL CAPACITY Legal test for capacity: Banks v. Goodfellow 1870 must understand that a will is being made and that it disposes property on death; must know the nature and extent of his property; must understand who has an appropriate… Read more

Severance of Joint Tenancies

The severance of joint tenancies is an increasingly important issue in estate litigation and can occur without the registered joint owners even knowing it if their conduct is inconsistent with joint ownership.   We often assume that property, registered in joint tenancy, will automatically pass… Read more

Wrongful Death Damages Fail To Provide For Grief

Wrongful Death Damages Fail To Provide For Grief and Emotional Injury in BC One of the glaring inequities in wrongful death claims in British Columbia is the failure of our legislation to provide authorization for the courts to make an award for compensation for individual grief… Read more

Wrongful Death Claims – Loss of Financial Support

Wrongful Death Claims Yesterday I blogged about the Family Compensation Act of British Columbia which allows a spouse, parent, or child of a person whose death has been caused by the wrongful act negligence or default of another, to sue for compensation. There are several… Read more

Wrongful Death Claims and The Family Compensation Act

Tegemann v. Pasemko 2007 BCSC 1062 is a good case example of the principles for compensation under the Family Compensation act of British Columbia. In this particular case the deceased was a 50-year-old mother, who is survived by her husband aged 49 at the time… Read more

Capacity To Make a Will

Capacity To Make a Will   A person making a Will must understand:   The nature of the act of making a Will: a. That he will die; b. That the Will will come into operation on his death, but not before; and c. That… Read more