Family, Estates & Trusts 


Category: Wills Variation


Odds of Winning Contesting a Will

Contesting a will can be a difficult and emotional process, but for some, it may be the only way to seek justice and ensure that their loved one’s final wishes are honored. In this article, we will explore the process of contesting a will, including the odds of winning, the grounds for contesting a will, […]

Calculating Executor’s Fees in BC for “Fair and Reasonable” Compensation

Can executors charge for their time? What is reasonable compensation for an executor? The general rule is that an executor is entitled to compensation for their efforts in administering an estate. BC’s Trustee Act provides that an executor is entitled to a reasonable allowance of up to 5% of the value of the assets of […]
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Interim Disbursement Refused as it Amounted to Re-Writing of Disputed Will

BC courts have discretion to order interim payment from an estate before the trial and determination of a wills variation claim. What the courts do not have is the discretion to approve of an interim disbursement that would in effect be a re-writing of the disputed Will. In today’s post we will look at Henney […]

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 […]
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BC Executor’s Fees Not Allowed for Opposing Wills Variation Claim

When a disappointed beneficiary brings a claim to vary a will, the executor should not pick sides between beneficiaries or use estate funds to finance litigation. Executors are expected to maintain an even hand as between the beneficiaries and take no position on the merits of the claim. An executor’s failure to remain neutral is […]

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 […]
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