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BC Appeals Court Upholds Dismissal of Estranged Son’s Wills Variation Claim

The BC Appeals Court  in Hall v Hall 2011 BCCA 354 upheld the dismissal of an adult sons Wills Variation action where the trial judge had found the plaintiff had rejected his mother and the rest of his family many years before.

The elderly testatrix made her will shortly before death, and left a total estate of $309,000 to one son, and nothing to the plaintiff son.

The plaintiff son became estranged from his mother in 1994 after a minor squabble. Except for one conversation during which he refused his mother’s request for assistance, they never spoke to each other again.

The plaintiff moved away without telling his mother, and did not even learn that his mother had been diagnosed with terminal cancer, o that she ahd died until after her death.

The deceased disinherited the plaintiff son and explained in her will that he did not want anything to do with her, that he was financially capable of looking after himself, and that it was only her other son, and his family, which she considered to be her family.

After his mother’s death, the plaintiff lost his leg as a result of a work-related injury.

While recuperating in hospital, he attempted to reconnect with his family, and it was only then that he found out that his mother had died .

The Court of Appeal found that the deceased had no legal or moral obligation to give her adult son a share, let alone an equal share, of her estate.

The son had rejected his mother by cutting off all contact with her.

His subsequent disability and unemployment could not be considered in his favor, as the relevant date to determine whether the deceased had made adequate provision for him was the date of her death.

disinherited.com is of the opinion that it is clear that the courts will allow a testator to disinherit an adult child if that adult child has deliberately rejected his or her parent(s) without a valid reason or explanation.

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