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

Judgement Does Not Sever Joint Tenancy

Will Drafters File Privileged In Wills Variation Claims

In an unreported decision, Brown v Terins et al, 20150505, Madam Justice Fisher refused an application brought by the plaintiffs in a wills variation action for access to the will drafters file so as to determine inter alia, the reasons for the disinheritance, so as… 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

B.C Allows Adult Independent Child To Contest Will Under Wills Variation Act

B.C Is Only Province To Allow Adult Independent Child(ren) To Contest Will Under Wills Variation Act If there was any doubt that no other Province in Canada except for British Columbia allows an adult independent child to contest a disinheritance by an adult child’s parents… 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