Family, Estates & Trusts 


Category: Undue Influence

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Does Independent Legal Advice Rebut Undue Influence?

The existence of undue influence is frequently presumed when the nature of the parties’ relationship suggests a potential for dominance. Overturning this presumption requires evidence that the giver, or donor, participated in the transaction based on their own “full, free and informed thought”. Multiple factors come into play in assessing whether the donor made the […]

What is Undue Influence

BC law is clear that the choices a person of sound mind makes with respect to their own property should be given respect. That includes gifts or property transfers during that person’s lifetime, as well as property disposed of in a person’s last will and testament. But what if the choices were not the product […]

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? […]

Family of BC Senior with Dementia Sues Alleged Financial Predator

Predatory marriage is a form of elder abuse that is on the rise. In addition to being conned into marriage by opportunistic predators, vulnerable seniors are taken advantage of in other ways. They may be convinced to change their Will, sign a power of attorney, or add the new partner’s name to a joint bank […]

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, […]

Abused Senior Sets Aside Transfer of his Home to Predatory Spouse

Our Vancouver estate litigators and family lawyers have been examining the issue of predatory marriage in BC and concerns that such marriages may be on the rise due to COVID-19 (i.e. the required social distancing and isolation of elderly people). It is possible for a marriage to be found void due to lack of capacity […]

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 […]

Vancouver Estate Litigation: Handwritten Wills

Can a handwritten will be valid? In Hadley Estate (Re), 2016 BCSC 765 the court was asked to decide whether a handwritten journal entry described as a “last will” could replace an earlier will that was prepared with the help of a lawyer. The will prepared by a lawyer The will-maker in this case was […]
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