Family, Estates & Trusts 


Category: Breach of Fiduciary Duty

BC Executor’s Fee Disallowed Due to “Dismal Failures” in Administering the Estate

BC law states that an executor is entitled to remuneration of up to a maximum of 5% of the gross aggregate value of the estate, unless the deceased’s will provides otherwise. In Zaradic Estate (Re), 2021 BCSC 1037 the will provided that the executors could claim remuneration in the amount of 10% of the estate. […]

BC Divorce Law: Help! My Spouse Drained Our Joint Line of Credit

Under BC divorce law, the rules about division of family property and debt apply to both married couples and unmarried couples who have been living together in a marriage-like relationship for at least two years. Many spouses have joint bank accounts or joint lines of credit, intended to be used to pay for various things […]

Constructive Trust Imposed in Absence of Unjust Enrichment

Canadian courts have developed the remedial constructive trust to prevent unjust enrichment. Pursuant to seminal cases such as Pettkus v. Becker, [1980] 2 S.C.R. 834, it is firmly established that a constructive trust may be imposed (even in the absence of wrongful conduct on the part of the defendant such as breach of fiduciary duty), […]

Fiduciary Duty: Agent’s Fraud Cured by Constructive Trust

Let’s discuss “constructive trusts” as a remedy for fraud or disloyal conduct by an agent (agents owe a “fiduciary duty” to their client, which means they must act loyally and in good faith toward their client). If a real estate agent buys for himself a property that he had been negotiating for on behalf of […]

Can You Have Unequal Division of Estate in a Will?

The unequal division of estate and property under a will must be valid and rational based on the reasons provided by the testator. If the court decides that the unequal distribution was not based on fact, or not logically connected to the reasons given for the distribution, it will redistribute the estate in a manner that […]

Fiduciary Duty: Are Beneficiaries Dependent or Vulnerable?

The case of Lac Minerals Ltd. v. International Corona Resources Ltd., [1989] 2 SCR 574 raised the question of when one party owes a fiduciary duty to another, even where there is no contract between them. It is the leading case in Canada on the ways fiduciary and confidential relationships come into being in business. The […]

Can you Rebut the Presumption of Resulting Trust?

This landmark case (Pecore v. Pecore, 2007 SCC 17) concerned the distribution of a father’s assets to his adult daughter. Two of his three children were financially secure but the third, Paula, had poor job security and was responsible for the care of her quadriplegic husband, Michael. Paula’s father placed most of his assets into joint […]
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