Construction of Wills – Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren Restricted to Legal Descendants

Construction of Wills Re Lang 2011 BCSC 972 involved a court application for an interpretation of the commonly used words “grandchildren” and “great grandchildren” that were used in the testator’s will. The testator divided the residue of her estate to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. At… Read more

Court Will Not Order Production of Drafting Lawyer’s Will File in Wills Variation Claims

Production of Drafting Lawyer’s Will File It is very common in estate litigation for the party attacking a will to want production of the drafting lawyer’s will file relating to the taking of instructions, preparation of, and execution of the deceased’s last will. As a… Read more

Undue Influence General Principles

Undue Influence General Principles, When clients approach with respect to suspicions that undue influence was exerted upon the deceased, I am mindful of two conflicting principles: 1. in my in my experience, “where there is smoke there is fire”, so their suspicions are probably… Read more

BC Will Contested For Interpretation of Its Meaning

Re Brookes estate 2011 BCSC 1606 involves a hand written half page  BC will, in  which the testator   appointed his brother as executor and provided: ” I leave my property  ( address stated) to my brother executor with power of attorney. Also my accounts at Royal Bank… Read more

Agreements Not to Revoke a Will

Binding Agreement Not to Revoke Will Kayne v Wright et al  2012 BCSC 119 is an excellent example of “mutual wills” which on occasion arise in estate litigation disputes. The general principle in law is that a will is always revocable. Most married couples execute… Read more

Presumption of Undue Influence Can Apply to Parent/Adult Children Relationships

Presumption of Undue Influence There are many court cases that define undue influence, and most state something to the effect that the influence must overbear the will of the person influenced so that in truth what she or he does is not his or her… Read more

Wills Variation Claim Won By 91 Year Old Spouse

Wills Variation Claim Won By 91 Year Old Surviving Spouse Mars v Bain Estate 2011 BCSC 1714 involves a claim brought by a 91-year-old female spouse who had lived in a marriage like relationship with the deceased for the last nine years of his life…. Read more

Will Varied To Provide Equal Share to Disinherited Gay Child

Disinherited Homosexual Children and the Wills Variation act I came across the decision  Patterson v. Lauritsen (1984) 6 WWR 329, and was pleasantly surprised to learn that as” far back” as 1984, the BCSC varied a will to provide an equal share to a disinherited… Read more

Son Wins Wills Variation For Marrying Spouse Whose Race Mother Disapproved

Son Wins Wills Variation For Marrying Spouse Lowres v Lowres 17 ETR 281, is another wills variation case from 1984 that is still very much the current and applicable law in British Columbia today. It relates  to an adult child independent  child contesting a will in BC… Read more

Who Are Your “Nieces & Nephews”?

Will Construction re Nieces and Nephews Re Holmes Estate 2007 BCSC 51,  involved a childless testator who was predeceased by his wife . His will provided in part that residue of his estate be “paid and transferred over to all my nieces and nephews” He had eleven… Read more

Foreign Will Mistakenly Revoked Canadian Will of Deceased Creating Intestacy

The August 2011 decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal in Robinson’s Estate v Robinson is a good example of the pitfalls that may inadvertently occur when a testator has wills prepared in different jurisdictions. It is becoming increasingly common for the general public to… Read more

Adopted Daughter Awarded Equal Share In Wills Variation Claim

Adopted Daughter Awarded Equal Share Laing v Jarvis Estate 2011 BCSC 1082 is yet another Wills Variation claim in British Columbia, where the courts have awarded an equal share to a disinherited child, in this case, an adopted one. The plaintiff was 55 years of… Read more

Wills Variation Claims Are Generally Well Suited For Summary Trial Disposition

Summary Trial Disposition Wills Variation claims in British Columbia are generally speaking well-suited for a summary trial disposition. A summary trial is heard by a judge who reads at affidavit materials and listens to submission by counsel. This is supposed to the more traditional route… Read more

Administration of an Estate Pending Litigation

Estate Pending Litigation It is very common in contested estates that the assets of the deceased are not properly dealt with in a timely manner as a result of the dispute. This is particularly the case when the court action relates to the actual validity… Read more

Gold Digger “Wife” Gets $150,000 from $3.5 MillionVulernable Victim

One of the most outrageous recent cases of blatant gold digging is Wu v Zhang 2011 BCSC 1205. This a much younger gold digger, who married a much older, physically and mentally vulnerable man, shortly before his death.