Estates and Estate Litigation

Newhouse v. Garland, 2022 BCCA 276

Two people can hold title to real estate in one of two ways. The first is as tenants in common. Where two people hold real estate as tenants in common, when one dies, their share is distributed as per their will or, if they don’t have a will, in accordance with intestacy laws. The second […]

Certificates of Pending Litigation

When a person files a lawsuit that claims an interest in a piece of real property, they are entitled to file a Certificate of Pending Litigation (CPL) with the Land Title Office against title to that property. A plaintiff may also file a CPL against title to a property if permitted to do so under […]

Jones v. Davidson, 2022 BCCA 31

Whether two people were spouses is becoming an increasingly common issue in estate litigation in BC. The BC Court of Appeal decision in Jones v. Davidson, 2022 BCCA 31 is yet another example.In this case, the Deceased, Larry Jones, died without a will on March 18, 2014. At the time of his death, he had […]

Unger Estate (Re), 2022 BCSC 189

Can a person who murdered another person inherit from the latter’s estate? If no, who stands to inherit in place of that person? Those were the questions in Unger Estate (Re). In Unger Estate (Re), 2022 BCSC 189, the Deceased, Lois Unger, died on February 24, 2016. She was survived by her two sons, Clayton […]

Malecek v. Leiren

In certain circumstances, family law and estate litigation claims can intersect. The case of Malecek v. Leiren, 2021 BCSC 1052 is one such example.In Malecek, the deceased, a man named Hall, died at the age of 79. He was survived by his wife of 37 years, Carol, and four daughters from a prior marriage. He […]

Committeeship

If an individual loses the capacity to make decisions on their own behalf, they require either an individual with power of attorney or committeeship to step into the position of decision maker on their behalf. Power of attorney can only be granted by an individual who has mental capacity. If a person has lost capacity and […]

Mutual Wills

Although not common, mutual wills between spouses are being increasingly used in blended family. If two spouses make identical (mirror) wills leaving their respective estates to each other, after the first spouse dies the surviving spouse can change their will as they please. This gives the surviving spouse flexibility moving forward with their life and […]

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, […]

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