Family, Estates & Trusts 


Category: WESA s.60

Wills Variation Act in British Columbia

The Wills Variation Act in British Columbia allows spouses and children to contest a will in certain circumstances, ensuring that they are provided for even if they have been unfairly left out. But what if a will-maker has disinherited a family member or treated beneficiaries unequally? Inconsistency can arise in determining the will-maker’s reasons for […]
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BC Inheritance and Estate Laws

It is a fact of life that all of us will experience the loss of loved ones. When family members die, it can bring up a lot of emotions. It can also bring up a lot of confusion and questions about inheritance rights. For that reason, it is so important to understand BC inheritance law. […]

Payment from Estate Pending Disinherited Daughter’s Wills Variation Claim

Once a disappointed beneficiary starts wills variation proceedings, the executor is not permitted to distribute the estate without the consent of the beneficiaries whose interests might be affected, or failing that, a court order. In Davis v. Burns Estate, 2016 BCSC 1982, litigation was commenced by the disinherited daughter of the deceased. As a result, […]

Can Beneficiaries Receive Interim Distribution Pending Wills Variation Claim?

A child or spouse who is disinherited or not adequately provided for in a Will can bring an action seeking a variation. Wills variation litigation can take months or even years to resolve. In the meantime, estate assets may be tied up, leaving other beneficiaries without payment from the estate. The good news for those […]

Father Disinherits Daughters in a Misguided Attempt to Punish Them

A Will can be a last opportunity for a parent to do right by a child. In a recent BC estate matter, a father instead used his Will to explicitly disinherit his twin daughters, denouncing them as illegitimate and instructing his executors to fight any attempt by the twins to vary his will. The Court […]

Cultural Tradition Favouring Sons Rejected by BC Courts

Equal treatment of siblings is not always required when dividing an estate in BC. However, variation of a will may be in order if unequal treatment of sons and daughters is based on cultural traditions that do not align with modern Canadian values. Contemporary standards create a reasonable expectation of children sharing equally in a […]

BC Wills Variation Claim Nets Increased Inheritance for Only Child

In BC, if a child is disinherited by a parent or left only a modest benefit, that child can bring a wills variation claim. The parent’s reasons for making the disposition will be scrutinized by the court. Sometimes, a parent will leave behind a detailed, written statement explaining exactly why they decided to disinherit a […]

BC Court Finds Father had Good Reason to Disinherit Two Sons

If you have been left out of your parent’s will or not treated equally when compared with your siblings, it may be open to you to bring a wills variation claim, asking the court to change the will in your favour after your parent’s death. However, as the court’s decision in Kong v. Kong, 2015 […]

Spite Not a “Valid and Rational” Reason to Disinherit a Child

Wills variation proceedings are often brought about by estrangement, misunderstandings, and hurt feelings within a family. Enns v. Gordon Estate, 2018 BCSC 705 shows how family grudges can lead to disappointed beneficiaries and estate litigation. In Enns, a BC woman brought a wills variation claim after being restricted to a 1% share of her mother’s […]

BC Court Refuses Disinherited Daughter’s Wills Variation Claim

A spouse or child who is left out of a will can bring a wills variation claim, which requires the court to consider the reason for disinheritance. Estrangement is a commonly cited reason to disinherit, but where the estrangement is the fault of the will-maker, the court may be more inclined to reject it as […]
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