Wills Variation Limited to $75,000
Hutchinson v Weidman Estate2010 BCSC 1356 involves a Wills Variation claim of an alcoholic abusive father who left his$1.1 million dollar to S., one of his four middle aged children, on the basis of that child’s attention to him and her health problems.
The court found that S was effectively unemployable, and that her present and future needs were substantial and compelling.
One of the three disinherited children sought to vary the will and claimed %45 of the estate.
The former matrimonial home had been sold and the mother, who predeceased, left her half to the four children and the other half to the deceased husband.
The plaintiff daughter never saw or spoke to her abusive father again after 1983.
The father redid his will that year, 24 years before his death, and left his entire estate to daughter S, who had serious health problems, and worked in low paying jobs.
The plaintiff owned a home and investments totalling about $800,000.
The plaintiff was a nurse but had health issues herself that rendered her less able to support herself.
The Court found that the reasons the deceased disinherited the plaintiff were not “valid and rational”
The Court however, found that the plaintiff had advantages over her sister S that placed her in a vastly different situation than S.
The Court varied the will to provide the plaintiff with $75,000 with the balance of approximately $1 million going to S.
The case illustrates the Courts recognition of testamentary autonomy and the limits of a wills variation claim made by a disinherited child against another child with significant disabilities that rendered her unemployable.