Abandoned Infant Wins Wills Variation Claim

McMain v Leblanc 2013 BCSC 891 involves a fact pattern that is all too frequent in wills variation cases-the abandoned infant  who subsequently finds himself or herself disinherited from the absconding parent, often under the pretext of lack of contact, or even estrangement, but rarely the… Read more

The Criteria of a Marriage-Like Relationship

What Constitutes a Marriage-Like Relationship?

Campbell v Campbell 2011 BCSC 1491 is a family law, common-law relationship of approximately 5 years that again reviews the various criteria as to what constitutes a common-law marriage. The parties cohabited unmarried for approximately February 1998 two spring 2002. The female worked the odd… Read more

Common Law Spouse of 21 Years Awarded %70 Estate

  The plaintiff and the deceased lived together in a common-law marriage like relationship for 21 years in a house owned by Rose. At the time of cohabitation, Rose was divorced and the deceased was separated. Rose had one child from a previous relationship.   At… Read more

Who Owns Your Digital Data After Death

Reprinted from the Economist July 18,2013 The Economist explains Who owns your digital data after death ? AFTER we die, our bodies are reduced to dust or ash, through burial or cremation. The fate of the digital corpuses we leave behind is rather more complicated. Before… Read more

“Marriage Like Relationship” Upheld

The criteria for a marriage like relationship was upheld in the Duga case. The courts have been grappling with the often difficult to determine issue of what is a marriage like relationship for several years. Many of the earlier decisions were difficult to reconcile, especially… Read more

Charitable Gifts

Canadian tax laws are structured such that in the area of estate planning, donations if made to a registered charity, can give rise to tax credits that can be used to offset the income of the deceased. Accordingly, if a deceased person leaves a charitable… Read more

“Tenor of the Will”

Sometimes poorly drafted wills fail to expressly provide for the appointment of an executor. The will however may direct a person to perform one or more duties that may be described as those of an executor, and accordingly the courts have developed the concept of… Read more

Gift to Child at Age 65 Collapsed So Gift Paid Now Under Rule of Saunders v Vautier

Rule of Saunders v Vautier For various reasons parents often wish to delay any bequest to a child for many years, often to the point where the child would be a senior citizen before the child inherited. Very often these types of trusts provide that… Read more

The Law of Equitable Set Off and Restitution

The Law of Equitable Set Off and Restitution Kessel Estate v Rikxoort 2012 BCSC 1270 involves a dispute arising from a complex financial transaction between the deceased and the defendants. The parties had entered into a buy sell agreement which provided that the survivor of the… Read more

Court Adds Bequest to Will Omitted By Drafting Solicitor

Drafting Solicitor Daradick v McKeand Estate 82 ETR (3d) 324, the Ontario Supreme Court made a very practical decision to allow the rectification of the will where there had been obvious drafting solicitor negligence in omitting a specific and substantial bequest. The case reviews both… Read more

Disclaimer of Life Interest Accelerates Children’s Subsequent Interests

    Disclaimer and Acceleration in estate disputes   Re Brannan Estate v Public Trustee (1991) 41 ETR 210 BCCA. The deceased testatrix who died in 1987, directed her trustees to pay $400 per month to her husband until his death or remarriage, whichever occurs… Read more

Court Considers the Equities of Assets that Passed Outside of the Estate

In Nightingale v Hepting 2010 BCSC 1214, the evidence was that the testator wanted to marry H, whom he met in 1976, but that they instead remained friends and vacationed together, and that H drove the testator around . H had a net worth of… Read more

Adult Child’s Share In Will Doubled to 50% For Invalid Reasons

Share In Will Doubled to 50% For Adult Ch ild Under Wills Variation Act Schipper v. Schipper Estate 2010 BCSC 1067 The Plaintiff adult daughter was only child of the testator and her husband. The daughter had very close relationship with her parents until about three years… Read more

Elderly Spouse Awarded The Home and Half of the Residue

Orr v Orr 2013 BCSC 208 is a wills variation action d brought by an 82 year old surviving spouse who was not adequately provided for in her husband’s last will, and whom was awarded the house and half the residue. He died at age… Read more

Lost Will Results In Presumption of Intestacy

Thierman Estate v Thurman 2013 BCSC 503, involved a testator who died in 2010 at the age of 92, leaving a copy of his 2006 will in a dresser or in his bedroom. A search for the original will that had been in his safety… Read more