A recent article discusses a decision coming out of the British Columbia Supreme Court, where a father’s Will is varied to undo the exclusion of his four daughters in favour of his only son.
In his ruling, Mr. Justice Randall Wong noted that the father demeaned his daughters and was “a racist whose will and personality dominated his family.” He “resorted to and engaged in harsh and brutal corporal and other punishments.” He favoured his son despite attempts by his daughters to have relationships with him. He did not take “contemporary moral standards” into account when he did his Will.
Such cases appear to be on the rise in B.C., which has legislation that is more plaintiff friendly. While B.C. appears to be the most beneficial province in Canada for claims by spouses and children who have been disinherited, it will be interesting to see if Wills that allow a parent to leave everything to one person at the expense of others will over time become a thing of the past in Canada.
In Ontario we have the Cummings decision, although it has not been sufficiently tested. So an independent adult child in Ontario who has no financial need may not have been able to succeed in this kind of application.
We seem to be breaking new ground with these types of decisions, and I would think a balance will need to be struck between a moral obligation to fairly provide for one’s spouse and children and the right to distribute your estate as you wish.
Have a good day,
Natalia R. Angelini - Click here for more information on Natalia Angelini.