MT Estate Litigation Blog

Notary's public pen and stamp on testament and last will

Miller Thomson Blogs put a more conversational lens on Canadian law. See the diverse perspectives of our lawyers here.

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Special costs in BC estate litigation: Kolic v. Kolic, 2022 BCSC 1448

September 21, 2022 | Alexander Swabuk, Noah Robinson-Dunning

Pursuant to the Supreme Court Civil Rules, B.C. Reg. 168/2009, costs during litigation in British Columbia are typically awarded to the successful party at trial. Costs are intended to be at least a partial indemnity for legal fees plus reimbursement...


Marriage-like relationships and intestate succession in BC: Coad v. Lariviere

July 25, 2022 | Alexander Swabuk, Taylor Lanthier

Pursuant to British Columbia’s Wills, Estates and Succession Act, S.B.C. 2009, c. 13 (“WESA”), when a person dies without a will, that person’s surviving spouse is entitled to inherit either the entirety of the estate (if there are no descendants)...


Commencing a proceeding on behalf of the estate of a deceased person: Hoggan v. Silvey

July 7, 2022 | Alexander Swabuk, Michael Gargaro

A recent decision by the British Columbia Court of Appeal has transformed the approach for commencing a proceeding on behalf of the estate of a deceased person in British Columbia. Hoggan v. Silvey, 2022 BCCA 176, began with a dispute...


Ontario Court of Appeal confirms modern approach to cost awards in estate litigation: McGrath v. Joy

March 3, 2022 | Alexander Swabuk, Arjun Gandhi

On February 10, 2022, the Ontario Court of Appeal (the “Court”) released its decision in McGrath v. Joy, 2022 ONCA 119. In this case, the applicant challenged the validity of a holograph will written shortly before the testator committed suicide...


Can a will be annulled?

October 19, 2021 | Stéphanie Tremblay

Have you ever wondered whether a will can be annulled after the testator’s death? People do not always leave a will behind before they pass away. When no will can be located, the distribution of the deceased’s property is determined...


Thoughts on final resting places

August 19, 2021 | Stephen Mulrain

Testators generally put much thought into the distribution of their estate. In addition, many testators give instructions for their funeral, how their remains are to be handled and where their remains should be placed. However, many testators may not consider...


Deception and Dower: Cases of Dower fraud in Alberta and Saskatchewan

June 9, 2021 | Anna Kosa, Stephen Mulrain, Alissa Ricioppo

The forms and procedures required in Alberta’s and Saskatchewan’s provincial “homestead legislation” create dower rights, which act as safeguards to protect spouses who do not own their homes (the non-owning spouse) from having their homes sold without their consent. However,...


Why competent legal advice is fundamental

May 5, 2021 | Debra Curcio Lister, Jordon Magico

Interpretative principles reiterated – “for awhile” does not mean indefinitely Four main principles of will interpretation were recently illustrated in Kirst Estate (Re), 2020 ABCA 233. In that case, the deceased left all of his assets, the most significant of...


Pour over clauses and the Quinn estate

March 17, 2021 | Alexander Swabuk

Connections between Canadians and Americans have never been as abundant or transparent as they are now as many Canadians own American property, have American spouses or partners, and have children and grandchildren born or living in the United States. As...


A prayer for cy-près

March 8, 2021 | Lyndsay Hone

What happens when a well-intentioned philanthropist has outlived or misnamed the charity they intended to benefit on their death? Funds a testator has earmarked for a particular philanthropic purpose or organization cannot always be used as they were intended. When...


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This blog sets out a variety of materials relating to the law to be used for educational and non-commercial purposes only; the author(s) of this blog do not intend the blog to be a source of legal advice. Please retain and seek the advice of a lawyer and use your own good judgement before choosing to act on any information included in the blog. If you choose to rely on the materials, you do so entirely at your own risk.