How to Defeat a Testamentary Gift: Beneficiary Fraud

How to Defeat a Testamentary Gift: Beneficiary Fraud

“Fraudulent beneficiaries”  has arisen in a claim that I am aware of currently before the courts, where it is alleged that the deceased was  fooled to leave his entire estate to someone who he believed was his natural son from a long-ago relationship, but the… Read more

Can You Prove Mental Incapacity for a Will?

Can You Prove Mental Incapacity for a Will?

Nykoryak v Anderson 2017 BCSC 1800 is a decision that in many respects is indicative of how difficult it is to succeed in having a will set aside on the basis of lack of mental capacity. The court found that the testator who is aged… Read more

Do Adopted Out Children Have Claim to Birth Family Inheritance?

Do Adopted Out Children Have Claim to Birth Family Inheritance?

In British Columbia a child who has been adopted out to another family has no claim on his or her pre-adoption family in the event of an intestacy or under the wills variation provisions of section 60 WESA. And adoption has been held by various… Read more

Interpreting the Ambiguous Will

Interpreting the Ambiguous Will

The increasing occurrence of laymen doing their own will, combined with the curative effects of sections 58 and 59 of WESA, will invariably be leading towards an increase in court applications to interpret the meaning of an ambiguous will or portion thereof. There is a… Read more

Executor Remuneration and Passing of Accounts

Unsent Draft Text Message Valid Will – Australia

A court in Australia has accepted an unsent, draft text message on a dead man’s mobile phone as an official will. The 55-year-old man had composed a text message addressed to his brother, in which he gave “all that I have” to his brother and… Read more

S.58 and 59 WESA Application Ordered to Trial

S.58 and 59 WESA Application Ordered to Trial

Estate of Palmer 2017 BCSC 1430 dealt with  an application to cure defects in a will under sections 58 and 59 of WESA, but was ordered to trial rather than having been dealt with summarily by affidavits. Ms. Palmer executed a short will on August… Read more

Unwitnessed Will Valid: S.58 WESA

Unwitnessed Will Valid: S.58 WESA

Re Riguidel Estate 2017 BCSC 1667 found a signed but unwitnessed will to be valid by invoking the curative provisions of Section 58 WESA. The Facts: The people present when the deceased signed the handwritten and typed documents were the deceased, Ms. Leonard and Mr…. Read more

Public Policy Protects Wills Variation Claims

Public Policy Protects Wills Variation Claims

If a will contains a penalty provision, known as a forfeiture clause, threatening to impose a penalty upon a beneficiary if a will is contested, then in that event,  wills variation claims are protected by public policy so that such a clause is not enforceable in… Read more

Marriage Like Relationships

Marriage Like Relationships

Weber v Leclerc 2015 BCSC 6550 reviewed the law relating to what constitute a marriage like relationship in a matrimonial dispute where the female was against the institution of marriage and opposed such a finding of being in a marriage like relationship. The parties did… Read more

WESA: Forcing the Executor to Act & Rule 25-11

WESA: Forcing the Executor to Act & Rule 25-11

Forcing Executor to Act. Rule 25-11 of WESA permits ‘a person interested in the estate’ to use a Citation to compel the named executor to apply for probate or be deemed to have renounced. This is an important tool in the arsenal of estate litigators… Read more

Section 46 WESA and Lapsed Gifts

Section 46 WESA and Lapsed Gifts

Section 46 WESA deals with the lapsed gifts in wills often caused by poor will drafting ,  failure by the parties to properly consider what the future may bring , or the beneficiary predeceasing, any of which results in   disappointed beneficiaries not receiving the intended gift. Instead of … Read more

Wills Variation: Elderly Common Law Spouse

Wills Variation: Elderly Common Law Spouse

Mars v Blais 2011 BCSC 1714 involved a 91 year old widow who brought a wills variation action ( now S. 60 WESA) against the estate of her late common law partner of 9 years. The wills variation  action was prior to WESA but would… Read more

S. 52 WESA: Undue Influence Presumption re Dependence

S. 52 WESA: Undue Influence Presumption re Dependence

Positions of dependence or domination are frequently involved in estate litigation and typically relate to caregiving or predator type behavior that ultimately takes advantage of  feeble mind. Elder Estate v Bradshaw 2015 BCSC 1266 involved a contested court action re  the validity of the deceased’s… Read more

S. 60 WESA (Wills Variation) Explained

S. 60 WESA (Wills Variation) Explained

I was counsel for the plaintiffs in both the WESA case Brown v Pearce Estate 2014 BCSC 1402 which relied upon the law as set out in detail in McBride v Voth estate 2010 BCSC 443 in which I was also counsel, and both cases… Read more

Deceased Beneficiary May Claim Wills Variation (WESA)

A Wills Variation Action  ( S. 60 WESA) may Be commenced even after death of Disappointed Beneficiary by his or her personal representative as per Currie Estate v Bowen ( 1989) 35 BCLR (2d) 46. In that case the husband died six weeks before his… Read more