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It is common for someone writing a will to appoint as their executor a family member or friend.  Sometimes this is done without understanding what it means to be an executor.  Sometimes the ability and propriety of the proposed executor is not considered.  Often, the relationship between the proposed executor and the will-maker changes after the will has been written.  ...

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The law of succession is among the most archaic areas of private law, and British Columbia legislation dealing with various aspects of succession is highly fragmented, spread throughout a forest of statutes.

Wills, Estates and Succession,
A Modern Legal Framework,
B.C. Law Institute, 2006

Those words were written nearly a decade ago and described, in brief, the ...

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Some time ago, I wrote a blog post about a Court of Appeal decision that upheld, and arguably extended, the enforceability of liability waivers and releases signed by customers of commercial enterprises.  That particular case involved zip-lining, an activity the court described as an inherently risky recreational adventure.  While that decision served as confirmation ...

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An executor, absent consent or a court order, must not make any distribution of estate assets to beneficiaries of a will for six months following the grant of probate. This is a statutory prohibition in section 12 of the Wills Variation Act (the “WVA”). There is a serious risk to executors who make early distribution.

This six month prohibition is intended to balance ...

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Despite the advice of professionals to the contrary, families often fail to discuss estate matters with each other.  Parents may not even say they have a will, let alone discuss its contents or location.  This may leave the surviving family trying to figure out the affairs of their deceased parent without knowing where to start.  The most important information is probably in the ...

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Despite the intentions of a testator and the best drafting skills of their lawyer, there are often occasions when there is an ambiguity or apparent error in the resulting will.  These can be anything from small typographical mistakes through to directly conflicting descriptions of a testator’s assets, beneficiaries or wishes.  The difficulty for an executor is trying to ...

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Tags: Wills

It is always a difficult situation when a loved one develops some form of dementia and gradually slips into incapacity.  It is even more troubling when well-meaning family members end up in a legal dispute over who should assume legal responsibility for the financial and personal care of the patient.  In recent years, Canadian legislatures have passed laws intended to make ...

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Many parents, late in life, come to realize that one or more of their children are not people they like or respect.  There are usually a myriad of reasons for this, the cause of which depends on who you ask.  But for the parent, their disappointment often leads them to consider making no provision for that child in their will.  To disinherit a child, often in favour of others, is ...

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In an earlier blog I discussed a recent decision that recognized the Supreme Court’s ability, in appropriate circumstances, to order that an individual submit to medical examinations as part of the process of determining whether they were competent.  The case involved lay evidence of possible incompetence but the two medical opinions required under the Patients ...

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People are often asked, and frequently agree, to act as the executor of another’s estate.  This decision is generally made without an appreciation of what the executor’s role really is, particularly where there is a dispute over the Will.  Ordinarily, an executor is supposed to preserve the estate’s assets, pay the debts and distribute the balance to the beneficiaries ...

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This blog is authored by members of the Litigation and Dispute Resolution Department. We follow new and interesting issues emerging in the legal and business communities. The wide range of experience among the members of our litigation group will provide a diverse and insightful examination of current legal trends and topics. Our goal is to provide a source of valuable information and insight on a wide variety of matters for our readers.

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