Estates and Estate Litigation

N.S. Court finds Sections of Province’s Wills Variation Legislation Unconstitutional

We rarely comment on cases decided in other provinces as they generally have little to no applicability in British Columbia. Such is not the case with Lawen Estate v. Nova Scotia (Attorney General), 2019 NSSC 162. This decision of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court has the potential to drastically alter wills variation claims throughout the […]

Pedrozo v. Hope, 2020 BCSC 1578

In this interesting case, the former spouse of the deceased sued his estate for breach of a family law separation agreement made between the parties while the deceased was alive.The female claimant and the deceased had been married for 9 years before separating. The deceased was significantly older than the claimant. The claimant had a […]

Jacobson Estate, 2020 BCSC 1280

We’ve previously written about section 58 of the Wills, Estates and Succession Act, which gives the Court discretion to cure deficiencies in a will or will-like document that would otherwise make it invalid. Until recently, section 58 had been used to give testamentary effect to defective wills or will-like documents. However, in Jacobsen Estate, Re, […]

Pavlovich v. Danilovic, 2020 BCCA 239

The BC Court of Appeal recently heard an appeal from a BC Supreme Court decision granting the daughter of a deceased a declaration that her brother held two properties in-trust for the benefit of the deceased’s estate.Pavlovich v. Danilovic, 2020 BCCA 239 concerned a deceased father and his two children, Ljuba and Alexander. The wife […]

Tomlyn v. Kennedy, 2008 BCSC 331

In many cases, more than one person may have a claim to vary a deceased person’s will. In that situation, it is important that all claims be heard together so that the Court can assess all claims at once.The first person to file a lawsuit seeking to vary a deceased person’s will is required to […]

Levesque Estate (Re), 2019 BCSC 927

In Levesque Estate (Re), 2019 BCSC 927, the BC Supreme Court considered an application by executors to determine whether an alteration to a will was legally effective.Upon opening the sealed envelope containing Beverly Levesque’s last will, her daughter discovered that a beneficiary’s name had been obscured using whiteout. In holding the document under a light, […]

Civil Jury Trials Suspended for 1 Year

Effective September 28, 2020, all civil jury trials will be suspended for one year. The Ministry of the Attorney General announced this measure in response to the ongoing threat posed by COVID-19.Civil jury trials had previously been suspended due to COVID-19. This announcement extends that suspension to October 4, 2021.As a result, any civil lawsuit, […]

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 […]

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