Tag Archives: British Columbia Wills Variation Act

No variation in the Holvenstot Last Will and Testament

Much has been written in our blogs and in other Estate blogs of  how  the application  of the British Columbia Wills Variation Act can result in changes to  a Will that the deceased thought would distribute his or her assets after death.

In layman’s terms, the situation in British Columbia has sometimes been summarized as  “you can’t disinherit an adult child unless he or she effectively abused or completely cut off  the parent for no good reason.”  While in fact there is a strong element of truth to this observation, the court reality is far more nuanced in that  “abuse” or “cutting off” have to be fully analyzed within the context of a longstanding and complex familial relationships.

The fact is, not every Will can be varied, and disinheritance of a child has always been permitted in British Columbia if the child’s conduct has been so reprehensible so as to justify exclusion.

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Court Allows Disinheritance of Child for “Valid Reasons”

The British Columbia Wills Variation Act (“WVA”) permits the Court, in certain cases, to vary the terms of a will in order to make adequate provision for the proper maintenance and support of a spouse or child. This type of action can be initiated by children of all ages as the courts have determined that a parent may have a legal or moral obligation to provide for their adult independent child. A legal obligation will generally not arise unless the child contributed to the estate in some way. A moral obligation may be negated by the existence of the deceased parent’s reasons for disinheriting their child, if those reasons are valid and rational.

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