Don’t Bank On an Inheritance

Do not expect to receive an inheritance is the advice of most financial planners, as well as my own. In the early 1990’2 I read a survey taken by the Vancouver Sun stating that 1/3 of BC residents expect to be disinherited. In my many… Read more

Children “Adopted Out”Cannot Inherit From The Natural Parent On an Intestacy

The BC Court of Appeal decision of Clayton v Markolefas 2002 BCCA 435 stands for the proposition that a natural child of the testator, who has been adopted by another parent, is NOT entitled to inherit from the estate of his intestate natural parent. Nor… Read more

Drafting Lawyers Evidence Rejected -Not Credible or Reliable

Drafting Lawyers Evidence Rejected: Not Credible or Reliable

Sawdon Estate v Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society of Canada 2012 ONSC 4042 involves a case where there was a dispute as to whether seven joint bank accounts with two of the deceased five adult children, went to the five children equally as per… Read more

The Equitable and Discretionary Remedy of Rectification

Rectification: The Governing Legal Principles The Ontario case of Kanji v Canada Attorney General 2013 ONSC 781 provides a good review of the law of rectification of a mistake. A taxpayer attempted unsuccessfully to rectify a trust that was going to incur a great deal… Read more

Wrongly Described Bequests

If  the court comes to the conclusion that the testator intended to pass a bequest, and can determine what that something is, then the fact that the testator wrongly described the bequest  in his or her  will, does not prevent the will taking effect in regard… Read more

Early Vesting v Contingent Gifts

In order to determine the date at which the recipients of the interest are determined, it is necessary to determine whether the gift was vested or contingent A contingent interest is one that is subject to the happening of an event that may never occur…. Read more

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

Termination of Trusts: Saunders v Vautier

Collapse of Gift- Saunders v Vautier

The 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… 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