Patterson v. Lauritsen (1984) 6 WWR 329 varied a will to provide an equal share to a disinherited gay son on the basis that homosexuality was not a factor which would justify a judicious parent wisely disinheriting a child.
The plaintiff, aged 43, one of four children, was excluded from the will of the testatrix, his mother, which divided her estate equally among the remaining three children.
Those three children, the defendants, were all well advanced in their adult lives and were in better financial circumstances than the plaintiff.
The plaintiff was a homosexual and an alcoholic and had been unemployed since 1970, living on welfare and the contributions of his male partner.
The plaintiff often fought with the testatrix but they had enjoyed a loving relationship.
The testatrix had informed her solicitor that she was excluding the plaintiff from her will because he was living with a homosexual and was a drug addict.
The plaintiff brought an action for relief under s. 2 of the Wills Variation Act.
The Court granted judgement for the plaintiff on the basis:
The testatrix failed to provide that provision for the plaintiff’s proper maintenance and support which a judicious parent, seeking to discharge his parental duty, would have made.
The testatrix’s suspicions of drug addiction were unfounded.
The fact of homosexuality in today’s society was not a factor which would justify a judicious parent, acting wisely, disinheriting a child. In all the circumstances, one quarter of the estate was an adequate, just and equitable provision for the plaintiff.