A BC estate is subject to the Wills, Estates and Succession Act (WESA, formerly the Wills Variation Act). WESA allows spouses and children to vary wills of their parents and spouses. In such cases, the court struggles with balancing two principles: that a deceased has the right to choose what should happen with their assets on their death versus that children and spouses have the right to be adequately and justly cared for in their future. See our earlier blog on this topic here.
Many other jurisdictions don’t have this same legislation, and in those jurisdictions would-be beneficiaries such as children and spouses would not be able to challenge wills. For example, on February 9, 2013, it was reported that a american elderly man left the entirety of his estate to two actors from a soap opera, whom he never even met. If this man had died in BC and had children or a spouse, there is no question that his gifts to these men he had never met would be questioned. It is very likely that some of would would be handed to his children or spouse by the court.
Sometimes this same legal issue arises when an elderly person leaves their estate to a person they meet just before their death. Sometimes that elderly person is confused or is pressured into making their will the way it is.Â If you or someone you knows has a deceased parent or spouse that left all of his belongings to someone they have never met, or someone they met recently before their death, call us at 604-264-5550 for a free claim evaluation. Thegoodfirm has experience dealing with these exact situations and can lend a hand.