Estate Litigation Blog

What is Formal Proof of Will?

Formal proof of will is one way of proving the validity of a will. The process of formal proof of will may be used where the validity of a will is contentious.

What Does it Mean to Die Intestate?

To die intestate means a person dies without a will. A person may die intestate if they do not create a will, or if the will they created is invalid. Further, a person may die completely intestate or incompletely intestate.

A Gift in Life or in Death?

Beatrice Roberts was an independent woman who managed her own finances and did so carefully. When she died, she wanted to divide her estate equally between her four children and one grandchild. However, she also set up a tax-free savings account (TFSA) and designated just one of her children.

Justice May Not Bring Happiness

The parties in Kachur Estate v Kachur, 2021 ABCA 343, were given a substantial estate by their brother, Walter Kachur, worth over $1.4 million gross, before they began to fight over it. By the end, the courts pleaded with the parties to stop their fighting, stating, “The bleeding has to stop.”

A Rule to Be Aware of When Drafting a Will

In Goss Estate (Re), 2020 ABQB 121 a testator prepared his own will and attempted to create trust that would not be gifted to anyone but instead exist in perpetuity. This case demonstrates what will occur if a trust is found to violate the rule against perpetuities. 

We Cannot Control Our Property Forever

Long ago in England, it was decided no feudal family would be able to own land forever simply because they were such a family, and therefore no one had the right to own land purely because they were born. This eventually extended to all property. 

What is a Personal Directive?

A Personal Directive is a document that takes effect while a person is alive and provides direction on how to deal with certain matters. Normally matters relating to health care.

Giving Gifts in Life

Sometimes people like to give property as gifts to others not just in their will but even before they die. This could be to minimize tax, for convenience, or various other reasons.

Be Clear With Your Will

Judges look at a will very closely to understand what a will says. If they cannot understand what the testator wanted, Courts may have no choice but to proceed as if the confusing words or clauses did not exist