Family, Estates & Trusts 


Category: Unjust Enrichment

How to Contest a Will in British Columbia

Have you been unpleasantly surprised by what a loved one’s Will says? Do you suspect that a family member’s Will does not reflect their true wishes? You can contest a Will in BC to seek justice and ensure your loved one’s true wishes are respected. Read on for important information and answers to common questions […]

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 […]

Estate of BC Biker Divided Between His Wife and “Secret” Common-Law Spouse

A Hells Angels prospect led a double life, leaving a “complicated legacy” after his disappearance and murder. Michael Widner maintained two separate households for almost a decade before his death in 2017. It was alleged that he earned large sums of cash from drug dealing and marijuana grow operations, which he used to fund both […]

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An out-of-date beneficiary designation in a life insurance policy can throw a wrench in an estate plan.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 […]

BC Mom Who Transferred Property to Kids to Avoid Creditors Not Allowed to Reclaim It

Property transfers between parent and adult child are quite common. A parent may transfer property to an adult child for estate planning purposes or simply because a parent wants to make a gift to their child. Transfers for such purposes are not objectionable—though they can create unexpected problems. What is objectionable is transferring property to […]

Son’s Vancouver Estate Law Claim Denied due to Benefits Received Through the Years

In a recent Vancouver estate law matter, Grewal v. Litt, 2019 BCSC 1154, a son claimed that he should receive $400,000 from his parents’ estate to compensate him for his work and improvements to the family farm. The son asserted that his contributions to the farm unjustly enriched his parents’ estate, and that he was […]

Vancouver Estate Lawyers Discuss Competing Claims to Insurance Proceeds

In some cases, the deceased’s estate has no significant assets and the real contest centres on entitlement to insurance proceeds. In a recent post, our Vancouver estate lawyers discussed the difference between a revocable and an irrevocable beneficiary designation in a life insurance policy. As alluded to in that post, an irrevocable beneficiary designation is […]

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: Applying Unjust Enrichment to Disappointed Beneficiary Claim

In this post, the lawyers at our Vancouver estate law firm discuss a contest between two innocent parties, both of whom claimed an entitlement to the proceeds of a life insurance policy. Specifically, the main issue was whether an irrevocable beneficiary designation made pursuant the Insurance Act provides a reason at law for a second spouse […]
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