Blog Posts

Below are our blog posts about recent developments in the areas of Estate, Family and Personal Injury law as well as comments on some recent important decisions from the BC Supreme Court, BC Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada.

Can the estate of a deceased spouse commence a family law claim on their behalf?
May 30, 2022

What happens if a spouse has separated from their partner, but prior to their death does not commence a family law claim for division of assets? Can their estate commence a family claim even when the deceased made no such effort? Background This issue arose in the case of Weaver Estate v. Weaver, 2022 BCCA […]

Everything on the Table – Importance of Clarity when Designating a Beneficiary
March 9, 2022

In estate litigation any information regarding the deceased’s intentions must be disclosed as they cannot speak for themselves. From this, the Judge will infer the deceased’s intentions while sorting through a mess of hearsay statements from witnesses. This was the main issue in Simard v Simard Estate. Verna Simard was a very private and proper […]

Can the Obligation to the Child be Replaced by Benefitting the Grandchildren
February 15, 2022

Can the Obligation to the Child be Replaced by Benefitting the Grandchildren? In an April, 2021 BC Court of Appeal decision, the court considered a variation of a will on the basis that the testator’s moral obligation to his daughter was not discharged as he benefited her sons at her own expense. In Scurek v […]

Settlement Offers and Releases: Pitfalls and Problems
August 21, 2020

Settlement Offers and Releases: Pitfalls and Problems Most litigants are able to resolve their issues without trial by agreement. Releases are a standard part of the process and provide assurance to both sides of the transaction that the issue has been laid to rest and neither side can bring any future claims. Often the releases […]

Secret Trusts and Estates: What are they and how do they work?
June 25, 2020

Secret Trusts: What are they and how do they work? Secret Trusts are not solely the product of Hollywood murder mysteries. While they are rare, they still do make an appearance in Estate claims. Most recently, they came before our Court of Appeal in Bergler v. Odenthal, 2020 BCCA 175 What is a “Secret Trust”? […]

The Difference Between Ademption and Abatement in Estate Claims
January 27, 2020

The Difference Between Ademption and Abatement in Estate Claims Estate claims are filled with legal jargon that few people use in their day to day lives. Abatement and ademption are often terms used in probate and estate claims, but what do they really mean? Ademption Ademption is what happens when someone makes a will and […]

How to address problems with joint executors
January 8, 2020

How to address problems with joint executors Many parents name their children and relatives as joint executors of their estate in their will. This may be problematic where families do not get along, or bad blood has developed since the signing of the will. The law requires persons who are joint executors of an estate […]

Recent Amendments to BC’s Wills, Estates and Succession Act: Who can sue on behalf of an estate?
November 11, 2019

Estate Litigation Update – New Amendments to BC’s Wills, Estates and Succession Act: Who can sue on behalf of an estate? The tools in WESA to allow estate litigation to recover assets on behalf of the estate have been recently expanded. The government of British Columbia recently introduced some minor tweaks in BC’s Will, Estates […]

A Change of Mind: When a Testator Alters Their Will
October 25, 2019

In a case decided earlier this year, the British Columbia Supreme Court discussed the implications of a testator altering his or her will after the will has been made. In Levesque Estate (Re), 2019 BCSC 927, the testatrix made a will nine years before her passing. At some point during the time between the creation […]

Unfair Wills and Testator Autonomy: Striking a Balance
August 1, 2019

Balancing a will maker’s autonomy with wills variation A recent National Post article reporting on a decision involving variation of an unfair will has gotten significant media attention and generated numerous online comments. The article summarizes the decision of Grewal v. Litt, 2019 BCSC 1154, in which a mother’s will left 93% of her million […]

Failure to Comply is Fatal: Recent BC Supreme Court Decision on Document Production
June 23, 2019

Failure to Comply is Fatal: Recent BC Supreme Court Decision on Document Production When it comes to demanding documents in a civil lawsuit, failure to comply with the rules is fatal. Document production in BC Supreme Court is governed by Supreme Court Civil Rule 7-1(10), 7-1(11), and 7-1(12) and by Supreme Court Family Rule 9-1(7), […]

Wills Variation for Spouses under BC’s Wills, Estates and Succession Act
May 29, 2019

Wills Variation for Spouses under BC’s Wills, Estates and Succession Act Wills variation for spouses is a part of BC’s Wills, Estate and Succession Act. Section 60 of BC’s Wills, Estates and Succession Act provides that a spouse (including a common law spouse) may apply to vary a deceased person’s will where they do not […]

Handwritten Will? The Court’s Power Under WESA to Cure Deficient Wills
March 29, 2019

Handwritten Will? The Court’s Power Under WESA to Cure Deficient Wills BC’s Wills, Estate and Succession Act (WESA), section 37, sets out the requirements to make a valid will in BC. However, sometimes a loved one may have written down their intentions for their estate without making a formal will that does not meet the […]

Have you been left with multiple wills or a will and a codicil? Vancouver Estate Lawyers are here to help. Section 58 of WESA.
August 10, 2018

If you discover what appears to be multiple wills or a will and a codicil or you simply don’t know whether a document left by a testator constitutes a will, then give Vancouver Estate Lawyers a call. There is a curative provision under s. 58 of the Wills, Estates and Succession Act that may be […]

Estate Litigation Update: Court refuses brother’s application for leave to recover estate assets
August 3, 2018

Estate litigation in British Columbia can be a complicated area. There are many procedural rules that govern the administration of and actions on behalf of an estate. The goodfirm Vancouver Estate Lawyers can help you navigate this confusing area. In Fry v. Fry, 2018 BCSC 1018, a court refused to grant leave to a beneficiary to […]

Challenging a Will? Avoid THESE mistakes…
July 19, 2018

If you are considering challenging a will and/or recover misappropriated assets for a loved one’s estate, following the correct procedure is crucial. The goodfirm Vancouver Estate Lawyers know and understand the complicated procedures.  In Naidu v. Yankanna (Estate), 2018 BCSC 878, a son and daughter started a court action to recover various real estate properties for their father’s […]

Dispute a Will: New BC Supreme Court Decision Highlights Importance of Proper Procedure
June 7, 2018

How do you dispute a will? In Naidu v. Yankanna (Estate), 2018 BCSC 878, the court’s ruling shows what NOT to do when applying to vary a will. In Naidu, a testator died and left his entire estate to his new wife, to the exclusion of his prior wife and five of his children. Prior to […]

Recovering Transferred Property – Vancouver Estate Lawyers
May 3, 2018

The goodfirm Vancouver estate lawyers can help. Many parents leave the remainder of their estate to their children and loved ones after passing. However, where a parent or loved one transfers property to someone else before passing, any transferred assets will not form part of the estate and will pass outside the will. As a […]

BC Supreme Court Varies Will to Provide for Testator’s Spouse
November 3, 2017

What do you do as an excluded spouse? In Unger v. Unger Estate 2017 BCSC 1946, a testator left the residue of his estate to his children and nothing for his second wife of 34 years on account of having already transferred her a half share in the family home. The wife sought to vary the deceased’s last […]

Proving a Will in Solemn Form: Latest Supreme Court Decision Affirms Legal Test
October 21, 2017

In Bhalla Estate, 2017 BCSC 1867, a testator who did not speak English and was unable to read or write in any language executed her will on July 21, 2008 with the assistance of a lawyer and an unidentified translator. She appointed one of her three children as the executrix and left the entire estate to […]

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