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Category: WESA s.58

DIY Will Declared Valid, as Were Gifts to Signing Witnesses

DIY Will Declared Valid, as Were Gifts to Signing Witnesses In Wolk v. Wolk, 2021 BCSC 1881, a BC man named Dawson Wolk prepared his own will in 2016 and signed it in front of three witnesses. Two of the witnesses—Dawson’s mother and father—were beneficiaries of the entire estate under his will. After Dawson’s death […]

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 https://www.bccourts.ca/jdb-txt/sc/21/24/2021BCSC2461.htm 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 […]
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BC Court Declares Unsigned Will To Be Valid

In March 2020, the world ground to a halt as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Offices were shuttered and in-person meetings were only permitted for essential purposes. In light of the pandemic, Marilyn Bishop cancelled her March 20th appointment at her lawyer’s office to execute her new will. She had already given her instructions, […]

BC Estate Litigation FAQ: Can a handwritten document alter an earlier will?

A handwritten document can be effective as a will or codicil to a will if the court is satisfied that the document is a deliberate or fixed and final expression of the deceased’s intention as to the disposal of property upon death. Testamentary intention means more than an expression of how a person would like […]

Will Not Updated Post-Separation, But Former Spouse Still Inherits Ex’s Estate

When married or common-law partners cease to be spouses, s. 56(2) of the Wills, Estates and Succession Act, S.B.C. 2009, c. 13 (“WESA”) automatically revokes testamentary gifts to one’s former spouse. The effect of s. 56(2) is that an ex-spouse is disinherited. But in some situations, that is not what is intended. In Jacobson Estate […]
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Can a Suicide Note be a Valid Will?

In certain circumstances a handwritten document can be effective as a valid will, as our Vancouver estate lawyers have discussed. Similarly, under the right conditions, a handwritten document that does not meet formal requirements can effectively change a will. What about a handwritten suicide note? In Gregoire v. Cordani, 2020 BCSC 276 the court concluded […]
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Who Pays the Costs of Vancouver Estate Litigation?

At the close of a Vancouver estate litigation matter, are costs paid out of the estate or is unsuccessful party personally liable for those costs? The answer to the question of who pays the legal costs and expenses relating to Vancouver estate litigation proceedings generally depends on who started the litigation and why. General costs […]
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BC Estate Litigation Determines Authenticity of Handwritten Change to Will

Can a handwritten document purporting to change a will be given legal effect via BC estate litigation? Section 58 of WESA is a broad curative provision. It provides the court with the discretion to validate a document which has not been made in compliance with the formalities of will-making and allow it to be admitted to probate, if satisfied that the document “represents the testamentary intentions of the will-maker.”
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Changing a Will in BC: Beneficiary Disinherited by White-Out

There are specific requirements for changing a will in BC after it has been made, just as there are specific requirements for making a will in the first place. Our BC estate lawyers have recently discussed the formal execution and attestation requirements that must be satisfied to make a valid BC will and whether there […]
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