Family, Estates & Trusts 


Category: Constructive Trust

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How Do Family Trusts Work in Canada?

A family trust can be a very powerful estate planning tool. You can use a family trust to achieve a number of goals, including protecting assets and wealth, increasing privacy, avoiding probate fees, and reducing tax liability. Many people have a good understanding of Wills, but only a general familiarity with the concept of a […]

BC Mutual Wills Agreement FAQs

A mutual will is an agreement between individuals to not revoke or alter their wills, except as provided for in the agreement. Evidence of an agreement not to revoke a will must be clear and unequivocal. The disappointed beneficiaries in Brynelsen Estate (Official Administrator of) v. Verdeck, 2002 BCCA 187 found out the hard way […]

Trespass Damages Dropped in Vancouver Estate Litigation

The recent Court of Appeal decision in Volovsek v. Boisvenu Alter‐Ego Trust #1, 2021 BCCA 179 dealt with a claim for damages in trespass against a woman who refused to give up possession of a Vancouver condominium after the death of its owner, her longtime partner, until her claim to the property was determined. Her […]

Ex-Wife and New Spouse Battle Over $100,000 Life Insurance Proceeds

An out-of-date beneficiary designation in a life insurance policy can throw a wrench in an estate plan. Where a beneficiary is designated, the insurance money does not form part of the deceased’s estate. Failure to update a beneficiary designation after a significant life event such as marriage, separation, or divorce may leave grieving loved ones […]

Court Appoints Administrator to Investigate $5 Million Vancouver Estate Litigation Claim

A person who is left out of a will may believe he or she has a valid claim, but not have access to the evidence required to prove it. That predicament arose in a recent Vancouver estate litigation matter, Jahanbani v. Mohseni, 2020 BCSC 2140. In that case, a son claimed that his mother gave […]

Competing Claims of a Second Spouse to Life Insurance Proceeds

The Supreme Court of Canada was recently asked to weigh the competing claims of a second spouse and a first spouse to the proceeds of a life insurance policy. In a contest between two innocent parties (i.e., a first spouse and a second spouse), both of whom claim an entitlement to the proceeds of a […]

Vancouver Estate Lawyers on Remedy for Unjust Enrichment: Money or Property?

In recent weeks, our Vancouver estate lawyers have discussed the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Moore v. Sweet, 2018 SCC 52, where a disappointed beneficiary succeeded in using the doctrine of unjust enrichment to establish her entitlement to insurance proceeds of $250,000. Once a claim in unjust enrichment has been established, the court must […]

Vancouver Estate Law: Constructive Trusts to Resolve Unfairness

A constructive trust may be imposed where a gift of shares in a family business is not completed during one parent’s lifetime, but the evidence is clear that the parents intended to gift the shares to a child who had committed him or herself to the family business.
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