Estates and Estate Litigation

I have Separated from my Spouse. Can I make a New Will?

If you and your spouse separate, you can make a new will before you have finalized your divorce and other related matters such as property division and support. However, if you were to pass away, your family law claim must be resolved before any family assets that are supposed to pass through your estate are […]

Is My Will Still Valid After Separation or Divorce?

An existing will is still valid after separation or divorce. However, section 56(2) of the Wills, Estates and Succession Act, S.B.C. 2009, ch.13 provides that any appointment, power of appointment, or gift to a spouse of a will-maker who has ceased to be a spouse at the time of the will-maker’s death is revoked. If […]

What Happens if a Beneficiary Dies?

The death of a beneficiary named in your will can impact the way in which your estate is distributed. The nature of the impact will depend on the terms of your will. Estates are often distributed by way of their “residue” as opposed to the distribution of specific assets. The residue of your estate is […]

Section 58 of the Wills, Estates and Succession Act

By Stuart Cappus To be valid, a will must be in writing, signed by the will-maker in the presence of two witnesses who are present at the same time, and signed by those two witnesses in the presence of the will-maker. Historically in BC, a will could not be admitted to probate unless these formal […]

Dying Without a Will

By Stuart Cappus When a person dies without a will, the Wills, Estates and Succession Act determines who will get their assets. Essentially, the Act provides that the deceased’s closest next of kin will inherit his or her estate. If the deceased is survived by a spouse but not any children, the spouse will receive […]

Gliege v. Gliege

In this case, Stuart Cappus and Trina Brubaker acted for a man who, unfortunately, was being sued by his father for the return of a piece of property that his father had transferred to him several years prior. The pair had a falling-out almost two-years after the transfer when the son made efforts to develop the […]

The Risks of DIY Wills and Home Will Kits

Why not do my own will? “Do-it-yourself” and home will kits are popular. However, they are also hazardous. While there is a long list of common mistakes, the most common is to omit a clause giving away the residue of the estate. Another common mistake is to give away an asset that no longer exists at the […]

What A Will Does and Does Not Do

What does a will do? A will provides for the management and distribution of your property upon your death. Through your will, you can appoint an executor to manage your estate, which includes payment of your debts and distribution of your property, and you can provide specific instructions as to how you want this to happen. This can […]

Wills Variation

Disappointed beneficiaries are often caught off guard, and mistakenly believe that there is no recourse. The Wills, Estates and Successions Act (“WESA”) gives children and spouses the right to apply to court to vary the terms of will if they feel that they have been treated unfairly in a process called “wills variation”. There is no distinction […]

Who is a “Spouse”?

The definition of spouse has evolved dramatically, and can vary depending on the legislation being considered, or the jurisdiction you are in. Both the Wills, Estates and Successions Act (“WESA”) and the Family Law Act define spouses as two people of any gender who are married to each other, or who have lived together in […]

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