Estate Litigation Blog

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Ongoing litigation regarding the Estate of Jiasen Liu presented an interesting challenge for the Honourable Justice M.J. Lema, who was hearing from the parties in Chambers on various interlocutory motions in Liu Estate (Re)2021 ABQB 963 and 2021 ABQB 999

Can You Trust that Transfer?

The Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta (ABQB) has brought new clarity to variation of trusts and trust-to-trust transfers under section 42 of the Trustee Act, RSA 2000, c T-8 [Trustee Act]. In the unusually named case of Twinn v Trustee Act, 2022 ABQB 107, the ABQB was asked to decide what the effect of a prior order of the court was. 

Limitations Remain Even After Death

A Plaintiff whose limitation period has run out and who is faced with a Defendant who relies on section 3 of the Limitations Act, RSA 2000, c L-12, will find it next to impossible to escape the Act’s effect. 

The Dead Do Not Get Support

Alberta’s Wills and Succession Act (WSA) gives immediate family members of a deceased person recourse when that person dies without leaving them sufficient support. However, what about when the family members die?

Testamentary Capacity Can Remain Despite Dementia

Diane Schultz chose to attack the 2011 and 2012 wills of her mother, Patricia McAndrew, alleging insufficient testamentary capacity due to dementia, suspicious circumstances, and undue influence by Ms. Schultz’s uncle, Orin Buchanan. Mr. Buchanan preempted Ms. Schultz by seeking advice and direction from the Surrogate Court as Personal Representative of the McAndrew Estate.

Father Named Personal Representative of Former Partner Who Died in Airplane Crash

A plane crash resulted in the death of a mother and daughter, Sofia and Ms. Odowa, both of whom died intestate. The father of Sofia was appointed as Personal Representative of the estate of Ms. Odowa, for the purpose of representing her estate in ligation resulting from the place of crash. The father applied for a limited grant of administration “as a party interested in the estate”, which the appellant, who was grandmother of Sofia and mother of Ms. Odowa, opposed.

Troubling Conduct Results in Removal Executor of an Estate

The Court of Appeal upheld the chambers judge’s decision to remove Lance as executor. The chamber judge’s finding that Lance conduct as executor demonstrated he “was not capable of performing his role as executor,” the Court of Appeal found, was reasonable.

Validity of a Holographic Will Put into Question

One must use caution in creating a holographic will. Holographic wills are handwritten by the testator and while these types of wills are allowed in Alberta, they must meet specific legislative requirements to be found valid. Where a testator writes a holographic will without advice from a lawyer, they may not be aware of these legislative requirements, which runs the risk of the holographic will being found invalid.