The Wills Estates and Succession Act (“WESA”) has provided estate litigation lawyers with many new and interesting tools to use when resolving estate issues.
Vancouver, BC -- (ReleaseWire) -- 06/21/2018 --In part one of a two-part blog series on the Skopyk Estate, 2017 BCSC 2335, an article posted on the website of the Kushner Law Group discussed an application to the British Columbia Supreme Court to determine if an unsigned handwritten document had sufficient testamentary intent to revoke or alter a 1995 will.
For more, go to: http://www.kushnerlaw.ca/curing-deficiencies-in-wills-with-wesa-part-2/
The Honourable Madame Justice Forth considered s. 58 of WEST before concluding that several relevant details supported the idea that the document, while unsigned and unwitnessed, represented sufficient testamentary intent:
 There are several relevant details pertaining to the Document itself that support a finding that it represents such an expression of intention:
The Document was pinned to a bulletin board hanging on the door in the Deceased's apartment where it could be easily found;
The distribution set out in the Document is rational on its face in that the Deceased's sister, Mary Anne, who had been included in the 1995 Will, had since died;
The Document clearly directs a division of the residue of the estate to certain named persons and in certain specific shares, with language that mirrors the language of the 1995 Will;
Although the Document is not signed or witnessed, the word "witness" is written near the bottom;
Although the Document is not dated, there is reference at the top to the Deceased's will dated November 16, 1995. It also purports to correct a typographical error in a specific paragraph of the 1995 Will; and
The handwriting is reasonably similar to handwriting in a letter entered into evidence, which is dated December 10, 1995, and signed by the Deceased. This letter was found in a drawer in the Deceased's apartment next to the 1995 Will.
The Court also considered other evidence, such as that the fact the Deceased had told a beneficiary prior to entering heart surgery that his 1995 will did not reflect his desires.
Anyone with questions on will variation or estate litigation in Vancouver, BC is advised to contact an experienced estate litigation lawyer. To schedule a consultation with Kushner Law Group, call 604-629-0432 or book online.
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