Forfeiture Clauses in Wills

A forfeiture clause is typically a clause that the testator puts in the will to try and make it much more difficult, if not impossible, for someone to contest the will. Typically, it would be a clause that it says, “If my wife ever remarries,… Read more

Wills Variation: 84 Year Old Second Spouse With Dementia

Wills Variation: 84 Year Old Second Spouse With Dementia

Philp v.  Philp Estate 2017 BCSC 625 in a wills variation claim awarded an 84 year old second spouse with dementia $300,ooo from an estate of $660,000 after a 35 year marriage. The widower was a retired doctor who had contributed substantial sums of his… Read more

Renewal of Wills Variation Claim Not Served In Time

Renewal of Wills Variation Claim Not Served In Time

Rodgers v Rodgers Estate 2017 BCSC 518 dealt with an application for a  renewal  court proceedings in a wills variation claim under S 61 WESA that states in 61 ( B) that the proceeding must be served on the executor of the will no later than 30… Read more

Anti-Ademption Under S 48 WESA

Anti-Ademption Under S 48 WESA

Forbes v Millard Estate 2017 BCSC 361 discusses and gives effect to S. 48 WESA , known as the anti-ademption provision, when property is disposed of by a nominee such as a power of attorney prior to death that under common law the bequest would… Read more

Wills Variance and the Estranged Child

Wills Variance and the Estranged Child

J.R.v J.D.M. 2016 BCSC 2265 discusses in great detail the law and related facts of the case in a wills variance case brought by the  estranged child of the deceased. No explanation was left by the deceased for the disinheritance other than the notaries notes that he… Read more

Wills Variation: Court Criteria Between Disinherited Adult Children and Second Spouses

Wills Variation: Court Criteria Between Disinherited Adult Children and Second Spouses

R. (J.) v M. (JD) 2016 BCSC 2265 summarized the court criteria will consider when deciding the competing moral claim of a disinherited  adult independent child  and a second spouse who inherited  the entire estate. The adult child had been disinherited and had been estranged from… Read more

Severance of Court Actions Upheld On Appeal

Severance of Court Actions Upheld On Appeal

The Court of Appeal in Johnston v Johnston Estate 2017 BCCA 59 upheld the trial decision found at 2016 BCSC 1388 where an action seeking that a will was invalid, or alternatively if it was valid it should be varied under the wills variation provisions… Read more

"Adopted Out" Child Cannot Contest Biological Parent's Estate Under Wills Variation

“Adopted Out” Child Cannot Contest Biological Parent’s Estate Under Wills Variation

Boer v Mikaloff Estate 2017 BCSC 21 confirmed that an “adopted out” child cannot contest the will of the biological parent’s estate under S.60 WESA (the wills variation provision) when it answered the following posed question negatively: Does a child who is adopted by other… Read more

Executor Added After Expiration of Wills Variation Limitation

Executor Added After Expiration of Wills Variation Limitation

 Under the provisions of section 60 WESA, an action under the wills variation provisions must be commenced within 180 days of the grant of probate or the action is statute barred. In the 1987 decision Cowan v Cowan 17 BCLR ( 2d) 114, the plaintiff… Read more

Abuse, Neglect and Wills Variation

Abuse, Neglect and Wills Variation

In my four decades of experience most wills variation claims  bring with them an individual or even sibling collective  story of abuse, neglect, and  other dysfunctions that result in a disinheritance to top it all off. It is settled law that the wills variation act ( now… Read more

Wills Variation and Court Costs

Wills Variation and Court Costs

Two recent wills variation cases awarded the usual order of court costs to a winning party, namely Scale B. In Dakin v Patry 2016 BCSC 1006 a plaintiff won a summary  trial and was awarded scale B . In Ciarniello v James 2016 BCSC 1805 the… Read more

Fertility and WESA: Is This Reproductive Matter Property?

Fertility and WESA

A deceased husband’s frozen sperm at a fertility centre was declared to be personal property under WESA and previous case law and thus could be inherited by the widow on an intestacy. The court in KLW v Genesis Fertility Centre 2016 BCSC 1621 ordered to release of… Read more

Wills Variation and Long Marriages

Wills Variation and Long Marriages

Ciarniello v James 2016 BCSC 1699 is a good example on how the court treats the division of estate assets  at the end of  long marriages when the survivor brings a wills variation action on the basis that she was not adequately provided for in her… 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

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