Undue Influence: Shifts in Burden of Proof Means More Plaintiffs Win

Undue influence is nearly always done in secrecy. It’s behind closed doors. There’s never many witnesses. It’s the things that are said like, I’m going to put you in a care home if you don’t leave anything to me. There are no witnesses but it… Read more

Mental Capacity and Marriage

This video is about capacity to marry. That’s mental capacity. We all know the story of Anna Nicole Smith and her love affair and marriage to the 94 year-old billionaire. After his untimely passing, there was years and years of litigation which centered on whether… Read more

Dysfunctional Families: The Predator Spouse

Dysfunctional Families: The Predator Spouse

A disturbing and increasing  trend in dysfunctional families is the advent of the predator spouse who takes advantage of elderly victims and assumes control of usually  financial affairs and marries the victim in short order. Even if the family had been reasonably functional prior to… Read more

Pleading Particulars of Undue Influence

Pleading Particulars of Undue Influence

Harder v Harder Estate 2017 BCSC 425 discusses the necessity of pleading particulars of allegations of undue influence  so that the defendant can meet the claim and not be taken by surprise at trial. Particulars of Undue Influence [15]        SCCR 3-7 (18) requires that full… Read more

Suspicious Circumstances

Arauju v Neto 2001 BCSC 935 is an undue influence /lack of capacity case that discusses suspicious circumstances.   The court found that due to suspicious circumstances the will maker was not allowed to rely upon the presumption that he was mentally capable when the… Read more

Winning an Undue Influence Case

Winning an Undue Influence Case

A review of case law makes clear the majority of such allegations are dismissed at trial due to insufficient proof. Frequently the court simply finds the testator had sufficient mental capacity and therefore allows the will to be propounded. The loss of an undue influence… 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

Mistakes In Wills and How To Fix Them

    Mistakes in wills are frequently made and then subsequently not discovered until typically many years later after the passing of the will maker. The usual types of mistakes  break into two areas- that the will was not properly executed in accordance with established… 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

contemplation of marriage

Will In Contemplation of Marriage

Prior to the WESA legislation in BC prior to  March 31, 2014 a marriage revoked an existing  will unless the  will was made in contemplation of marriage.   The BC Appeal court in MacLean Estate v. Christiansen, 2010 BCCA 374dealt with the matter.   The BCCA… Read more

Where There Is a Cult, There Is Undue Influence

Undue Influence and Cults In recent years there have been a rash of news stories about people who have escaped from various cults, sects, communes or other extremely private organizations ,such as Scientology. Today’s news brings the story of a Marxist commune in South London… Read more

The Doctrine of Ademption By Conversion

  The doctrine of ademption by conversion — a rule of the law of wills whereby a specific bequest “adeems”, or fails, if at the testator’s death the specified property is not found among his or her assets — either because the testator has parted… Read more

Legacies – General or Specific

Re Wood Estate 2004 BCCA 556, contains a good discussion on the differences between general and specific bequests, aka legacies. There are generally two classes of legacies — specific and general. Halsbury’s Laws of England (4th ed. 1998) describes the categories as follows: A specific… Read more