Family, Estates & Trusts 


Category: Lack of Capacity

Contesting a Will Due to Dementia

With the aging population and rising incidence of cognitive disorders such as dementia, challenges to the validity of wills are becoming more frequent. This article delves into an intriguing case study Re Singh Estate, 2019 BCSC 272, where family ties, property ownership, and cognitive decline intermingle, resulting in a contentious legal dispute. This real-world situation […]

Unsigned Will Given Effect Despite Fluctuating Mental State of Will-Maker

In this article we will discuss important points from Gibb Estate (Re), 2021 BCSC 2461 on mental capacity, validity of wills, and the court’s duty to give effect to a deceased’s intentions whenever possible. While in the hospital after suffering a heart attack, a BC man named John Gibb requested that his lawyer prepare […]

Family Dispute Leads to Contested Committeeship Application

Suspicion, differences of opinion, and conflict between family members make it very difficult to select an appropriate committee for a loved one. An application to the BC Supreme Court was necessary in Klop (Re), 2021 BCSC 644 to resolve a dispute among siblings. They could not agree on which of them should be appointed representative […]

Medical Examination Ordered After Alleged Victim of Elder Abuse Denies Incapacity

We are often contacted by concerned family members wanting to step in to help an elderly person whom they suspect is being abused. However, bringing litigation on the senior’s behalf can present a number of challenges. What happens if the elderly person denies any abuse and insists that they are capable of handling their affairs? […]

Dispute over Mother’s Mental Capacity Gives Rise to Vancouver Litigation

Family disputes can be significantly exacerbated by the heavy weight of dealing with an ailing parent. Family members can become mired in conflict over whether a loved one lacks capacity because of mental infirmity and if so, who should handle their personal, financial, and legal affairs. In a recent post, our Vancouver litigation team discussed […]

BC Committeeship: Court-Appointed Decision-Maker for Adult who Lacks Capacity

The BC population is aging, and dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and related disorders are on the rise. Over the years, our BC estate litigation team has written extensively about setting aside a trust, will, gift or transfer of property due to lack of capacity, and we recently focused on mental incapacity in the context of predatory […]

BC Family Law: What if a Spouse Lacks Capacity to Understand Consequences of Marriage?

Marriage is a contract. If one or both parties lacked the mental capacity to understand the nature of the marriage contract and the legal consequences flowing from it, the marriage can be annulled by the court, meaning that none of the legal consequences that typically flow from a marriage arise. The circumstances surrounding a marriage […]

Were Elderly Man’s Marriage and Will the Products of Undue Influence by his Caregiver?

In an earlier post, we discussed Ross-Scott v. Potvin, 2014 BCSC 435, a case in which the only living relatives of the deceased challenged what they viewed as a predatory marriage between their elderly uncle and his younger caregiver. The uncle, Mr. Groves, was 77 years old when he married his 56-year-old caregiver, Ms. Potvin, […]

BC Estate Litigation Challenges Elderly Man’s Capacity to Marry His Caregiver

Can an elderly, reclusive man suffering from cognitive decline due to dementia have the capacity to marry his caregiver? That was the question to be decided in Ross-Scott v. Potvin, 2014 BCSC 435. In that case, the man’s mental capacity was diminishing and he had moments of delusional thinking, but the evidence did not satisfy […]

Increased Risk of Predatory Marriage During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Are BC residents at increased risk of falling victim to predatory marriage during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly those who are elderly or suffering from cognitive impairment such as dementia? There is some cause for concern that the conditions brought about by the coronavirus pandemic may lead to an increased risk of predatory relationships, so in […]
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