Tag Archives: spouse’s entitlement

Determining a spouse’s entitlement under a Wills Variation Act (“WVA”) claim

In 1994, the Supreme Court of Canada set out the principles to be applied in British Columbia to the WVA. The Court held that there were two interests protected by the WVA: (1) the adequate, just and equitable provision for the spouses and children of testators covered by the WVA; and (2) testamentary autonomy of the testator. The Court held:

The Act did not remove the right of the legal owner of property to dispose of it upon death.  Rather, it limited that right.  The absolute testamentary autonomy of the 19th century was required to yield to the interests of spouses and children to the extent, and only to the extent, that this was necessary to provide the latter with what was “adequate, just and equitable in the circumstances.” 

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