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

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

Court Discretion In Wills Variation Claims

Court Discretion In Wills Variation Claims

In wills variation cases now brought under S. 60 WESA , the judge has “entire discretion” in deciding pro or against a claimant on its findings of fact. In Swain v Dennison 1967 SCR 7 the Supreme Court of Canada held that the jurisdiction of… Read more

S 151 WESA - Court Allows Applicant to Sue as Executor

S 151 WESA – Court Allows Applicant to Sue as Executor

Werner v. McLean 2016 BCSC 1510 granted relief under S 151 WESA that the applicant be authorized to bring court action in the name of and sue on behalf of the personal representative of the estate as executor. The court approval was in order to litigate… Read more

Adoption Purposes

Adoption Purposes

Adoption is for all purposes. I advised a legal enquiry today that he could not claim against the estate of his natural father (“birth parent”) since he had been adopted by another party and that for estate claims, his adoption was for “all purposes”. Section 3 WESA re Adoption… Read more

Disabled Adult Succeeds Wills Variation

Disabled Adult Succeeds Wills Variation

Willott v. Willott Estate 1997 CarswellBC 2016, [1997] B.C.J. No. 2073, 20 E.T.R. (2d) 211 is a 1997 wills variation action where a deceased parent’s estate was required to pay additional monies to a disabled son who unable to work, survived on a small disability… Read more

Will Varied to Give Daughter Entire Estate

Will Varied to Give Daughter Entire Estate

Hagen-Bourgeault v. Martens 2016 BCSC 1096 varied a will (S. 60 WESA) to give a 25 year old daughter with two young children on social assistance, the entire estate of $2,200 per month until 2025, instead of her husband of two years who was well… Read more

Interim Payments Under Wills Variation

Interim Payments Under Wills Variation

Grant v Grant estate 1997 Carswell BC 3773 allowed a widow in need of funds to receive interim payments under the wills variation provisions of WESA. The Grant and Hecht cases are only a few reported cases of the ability to apply to court for an… Read more

Public Policy Protects Wills Variation Claims

Public Policy Protects Wills Variation Claims

If a will contains a penalty provision, known as a forfeiture clause, threatening to impose a penalty upon a beneficiary if a will is contested, then in that event,  wills variation claims are protected by public policy so that such a clause is not enforceable in… Read more

Section 58 WESA: Journal Not a Will

Section 58 WESA: Journal Not a Will

Re Hadley Estate 2016 BCSC 765 held that an unwitnessed  journal entry written by the deceased in her daily entry and stated to be  ” my last will”  will, was not in fact her last valid will under the curative provisions of section 58 WESA. This… Read more

Children Defined Under S.60 WESA

Children Defined Under S.60 WESA

The decision of Sari v Sari 2015 BCSC 1865, while essentially an application for costs, reviews the law as to what the definition of a child or children is for the purposes of having the necessary standing to bring an action under S 60 WESA to… Read more

Wills Variation: Appealing a Judge's Exercise of Discretion

Wills Variation: Appealing a Judge’s Exercise of Discretion

Judges have a broad discretion in their judicial interpretation of wills variation cases and generally speaking, a litigant cannot appeal finds of fact made by the trial Judge after exercising that discretion. Appeal court are reluctant to substitute their discretion for that of the trial… Read more

Wills Variation and Discretion

Wills Variation and Discretion

One of the difficulties in advising clients in wills variation cases is that under the WESA provisions relating to the variance of wills, the trial judge has an absolute discretion in his or her award, if any, under the act. The five panel appeal decision… Read more

Percentage Awards In Wills Variation Claims Favoured

Percentage Awards In Wills Variation Claims Favoured

The Courts prefer to use percentage awards in wills variation claims rather than specific sums. One of the major reason is the fluctuation in value of  some assets over time. The recent dramatic rise in lower mainland property values has presented a mild dilemma to… Read more

The Legal Obligation to Provide For Infants

The Legal Obligation to Provide For Infants

Heatherfield ( Litigation Guardian of) v Heatherfield Estate 2015 BCSC 505    is one of the few reported cases as to of what constitutes adequate provision for a minor, dependent child beyond the decision in Cameron (Public Trustee of) v. Cameron Estate (1991), 41 E.T.R. 30 (B.C.S.C.) [Cameron]…. Read more