Family, Estates & Trusts 


Category: Family Property Division

Can a Will be Changed After Death in British Columbia?

Do you want to ensure that your loved ones are adequately provided for when you die? Preparing a will creates peace of mind, knowing that your affairs are in order and that your family members will be taken care of. If you die without a will, you have no control over who administers your estate […]

Joint Family Ventures

In a recent Alberta case involving a wife’s claim to farm property, the court allowed a wife’s unjust enrichment claim, finding that the common-law spouses had been involved in a “joint family venture” and that the husband was enriched by the wife’s provision of domestic services, child rearing, and farm help during the couple’s 14 […]

Inheritance And Divorce: How To Protect Your Child’s Inheritance from Divorce

Parents want to provide for their children. Parents also worry about how inherited assets or inheritance money will be used once in their child’s hands. The interplay between inheritance and divorce is an area of particular concern for many parents of adult children who are married or in a common law relationship. What happens to […]

Joint Tenants vs Tenants in Common: What’s The Difference?

True or false: When you die, all assets and property you own become part of your estate and are passed on to the beneficiaries named in your Will. It may surprise you to know that that statement is false. How you own an asset such as a bank account or piece of property determines whether […]

Dividing Family Property on Separation: Can Your Agreement Be Set Aside

BC’s Family Law Act starts with the presumption that family property and family debt should be divided equally between spouses upon marital breakdown. But the Family Law Act also allows spouses to contract out of the equal division regime and resolve property matters on their own by negotiated agreement. Often this is done in advance […]

Unjust Enrichment in British Columbia – Family Law Case Study

The concept of unjust enrichment in Family Law is complex. In a recent case, Judge v. Judge, 2015 BCSC 1764, a family law case in which the court determined that properties acquired by contributions of a husband, wife, and the husband’s parents, but held in the name of the husband’s parents alone, should be reapportioned […]

Uncontested Divorce in British Columbia: A Comprehensive Guide

The only way to legally end your marriage is by getting a divorce order. Only a judge in the BC Supreme Court can grant you a divorce. So, you may be wondering: what is the fastest way to get a divorce in BC? An uncontested divorce—also known as an undefended divorce, simple divorce, or “desk […]

Spousal Rights After Death in BC

BC’s Family Law Act provides that, upon separation, each spouse has a right to an undivided half interest in all family property as a tenant in common, and is equally responsible for family debt. What happens if a spouse dies after separation but before family property issues have been settled? Does the deceased spouse’s claim […]

Court Rejects Daughters’ Claim that Dad and Stepmom Separated Prior to his Death

If spouses separate before one of them dies, there is a right to property division under the Family Law Act at the instance of either the surviving spouse or the deceased spouse’s estate. In Malecek v. Leiren, 2021 BCSC 1052, there was a dispute about whether spouses were separated at the time of the husband’s […]

Divorce Law BC: Dividing Assets Acquired by Joint Family Venture

Where spouses contribute in various ways, and in different measures, to the acquisition of family wealth and assets, how does BC divorce law apply to divide that property on breakdown of the marriage? In many cases, title to the property is in only one spouse’s name, despite the other spouse’s contributions. It might also be […]
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