Who Can Be an Expert Witness?

Who Can Be an Expert Witness?

The complexity  litigation issues  has increased the need and use of expert witnesses, and just who can be one is sometime an issue in itself. Some of the experts that I have  utilized over years of estate litigation are geriatric psychiatrists, accountants and forensic auditors, and… Read more

Copy of Will Probated

Copy of Will Probated

Under certain circumstances a copy of a will rather than the original, may be admitted to probate as the last valid will of the deceased. The competing claimants will typically  argue that there is a presumption of revocation when the original will cannot be produced…. Read more

Laches

Laches

Laches was discussed and rejected by the court in Grewal v Khakh 2016 BCSC 2055, where the court quoted the Supreme Court of Canada: 52           In  M. (K.) v. M. (H.), , [1992] 3 S.C.R. 6, [1992] S.C.J. No. 85 (S.C.C.) at para. 98, where the… Read more

Gifts In Contemplation of Death

Gifts In Contemplation of Death

Deathbed gifts happen surprisingly often. It is relatively common for people, during their last days, to make sizable gifts to caregivers and loved ones. Frequently the purported gift is at odds with the will of the dying person. Like deathbed wills, deathbed gifts’ often result… Read more

Assets Passing Outside of the Estate

Assets Passing Outside of the Estate

Assets Passing – Probably most people in North America die holding assets that pass from their name to others or their estate that pass both ” inside” and “outside” of the estate. A deceased’s will only distributes assets that were personally owned by the deceased at… Read more

Proper Estate Expenses

Proper Estate Expenses

Re Vince Insurance Trust 2016 BCSC 1992 reviewed the law as to what constitutes proper estate expenses such that the executor would be entitled to be reimbursed for same. It is a question of fact in each case. The application for the interim distribution was… Read more

Interim Distribution Ordered

Interim Distribution Ordered

An interim distribution of $250,000  of his maximum estate entitlement of $460,000 was ordered to a 76 year old former spouse of the deceased who needed funds in Davis v Burns Estate 2016 BCSC 1982. The application was made  under section 155 of the Wills,… Read more

Tracing Converted Assets

Tracing Converted Assets

Converted assets can be traced and reclaimed under certain circumstances if they can be identified. For example a bank account of cash can be converted into a stock portfolio which in turn is used to buy a house that is subsequently sold and put into… Read more

Court of Appeal Allows Courts to Interpret Trust Documents

Court of Appeal Allows Courts to Interpret Trust Documents   The almost chestnut re Engleman Estate 1986 23 ETR 30, BCCA, The will of the deceased made his two brothers co-executors and sole beneficiaries. A major asset of the estate was a farm on which… Read more

Probate Procedure When Four Wills In Dispute

Re Dow Estate 2015 BCSC 292 an issue of probate procedure arose  due to the fact that the deceased made four wills in the last 2 1/2 years of his life. The plaintiff was named as a beneficiary in the first and third wills, but not… Read more

executor repay

Executor Ordered to Repay Monies

  Executor Ordered to Repay Monies Back to Estate Paid Out Before Expiration of 6 Month Limitation Stevens v. Wood Estate (Re), 2013 BCSC 2380 Until six months have passed from the issuance of probate of a will, s. 12 of the Wills Variation Act,… Read more

Trustee Removed For Selling Assets Below Market Value and Benefiting

Trustee Removed For Selling Assets Below Market Value and Benefiting VanKoughnett & Others v. Austin, 2006 BCSC 1856 is authority for the proposition that a trustee removed under section 30 of the Trustee Act where there is potential conflict of interest between the personal interests of… Read more

The Executors Obligation To Maintain Estate Assets

Executors obligation cannot just idly stand by and allow estate assets to deteriorate or waste- the executor and trustee has a duty of care to mange and preserve the estate assets. The legal test is as follows: The traditional standard of care of an executor/trustee is… Read more

Lawyers Questionnaire Admitted Into Probate Will

Garnett Estate v Garnett Estate 2013 BCSC 1731 is an interesting case where pre WESA, a lawyers questionnaire re will instructions was determined by the court to be a valid will and admitted into probate. In this case the executrix brought an action to prove the will… Read more

Fiduciary Relationships- Leading Case

  It is important on occasion to revisit some of the  British Privy Council case authority chestnuts that have developed as pillars of certain areas of the law. One such case would be the Privy Council case of Noriah v Omar 1929 AC 127  relating… Read more