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

Physically Disabled Adult Awarded Entire Estate

Physically Disabled Adult Awarded Entire Estate

Disabled people, both mentally or physically or both, are often extremely short changed in their inheritance. This blog involves a case Trevor Todd handled for a physically disabled married adult who was literally treated like a child by her entire extended family. Dale was initially bequeathed… Read more

Transferor’s Intention Is Key to “Right of Survivorship”

The Transferor’s Intention when the “gift” in dispute was created is the key indicator as to whether a right of survivorship is valid or not as 2013 BCCA 492 Bergen v. Bergen reviews leading case law confirms. the case involved a dispute between respondents and… Read more

Ryan Fights For the Warhol of Farrah Fawcett (worth maybe 12 million)

Ryan O’Neal testifies about disputed Warhol portrait of Farrah Fawcett Love is never having to say your sorry, and that she gave me the $12 million dollar painting that I talk to each day so I own it and not the claimant University, says Ryan… Read more

The Use of Discretionary Trusts in Estate Planning

1. INTRODUCTION I always fell asleep during my law school trusts class. I could never have imagined then what an important role trusts would come to play in my day-to-day career as a Wills and Estates lawyer. I suspect that there are many other lawyers,… Read more

Rebutting the Presumption of a Resulting Trust

Dhaliwal v Ollek 2012 BCCA 86 discusses rebutting of the presumption of a resulting trust, and upholds that the recipient done bears the onus of proof, on the balance of probabilities, to rebut the presumption of a trust and to attempt to prove a gift…. Read more

Sham Trusts and the Three Certainies

The three certainties: certainty of intention and the issue of sham trusts In order to be valid, trusts must comply with the three certainties at the time of settlement: It is of course trite law that for a valid trust to come into existence, the… Read more

Certainty of Subject Matter In Trusts

One of the three requirements of a valid trust is the “certainty of the subject matter”, There are two elements to certainty of subject matter: First, the property which is subject to the trust must be clear. Second, the nature of the interest due to… Read more

Trustees Must Not Co-Mingle or Misuse Estate Funds For Their Own Purpose

Trustees must not co mingle or misuse estate funds or assets  for their own purposes. It is trite law that trustees are fiduciaries and must not personally use, profit from, or co-mingle estate funds with their own. If a trustee has mixed his/her own funds… Read more

Trust For Care of Deceased’s Cats Held Valid

Deceased’s Cats In Zinn v Bergen 2012 SKQB 214, the deceased left a five page typewritten will dated July 7, 2003 wherein he made several specific bequests, and asked to convert the rest and residue of the estate into cash for the purpose of initially… Read more

The Requirements of a Valid Inter Vivos Transfer to a Trust

The Requirements of a Valid Inter Vivos Transfer to a Trust   The decision Mordo v Nitting 2006 BCSC 1761 is a primary source on many aspects relating to trusts. Morodo was suing to set aside an alter ego trust settled by his mother in… Read more

Claim To Set Aside Alter Ego Trust Dismissed

Alter Ego Trusts Usher v Larabee 2010 BCSC 1608 discusses the general principles of inter vivos gifts and an alter ego trust set up by a mother, that was attacked by two sons in litigation.   The mother’s assets consisted of property in the stock… Read more

Secret Trusts

Secret trusts likely exist much more than the public believes, as after all, they are secret. WHAT ARE SECRET TRUSTS?  In Champoise v. Champoise-Prost Estate, 2000 BCCA 426(B.C. C.A.) at paras. 15-16, the Court of Appeal summarized the fundamental principles which inform the analysis:  … Read more