On March 31, 2014 the Wills Variation Act was repealed by WESA – the Wills, Estates
and Succession Act, SBC 2009, c. 13. The statutory right available to those classes of
persons to have the Supreme Court review and vary a Will was preserved unchanged in
Division 6 of WESA.
What is a Wills Variation Action?
Section 60 of WESA provides as follows:
“Maintenance from estate 60 Despite any law or enactment to the contrary, if a will-maker dies leaving a will that does not, in the court’s opinion, make adequate provision for the proper maintenance and support of the will-maker’s spouse or children, the court may, in an action by or on behalf of the spouse or children, order that the provision that it thinks adequate, just and equitable in the circumstances be made out of the will-maker’s estate for the spouse or children.”
Section 62 of WESA also provides:
“Evidence 62 (1) In an action under section 60, the court may accept the evidence it considers proper respecting the will-maker’s reasons, so far as may be determined,
(a) for making the gifts made in the will, or
(b) for not making adequate provision for the will-maker’s spouse or children,
including any written statement signed by the will-maker.
(2) In estimating the weight to be given to a statement referred to in subsection (1), the court must
have regard to all the circumstances from which an inference may reasonably be drawn about the
accuracy or otherwise of the statement.”
While a Wills Variation lawsuit is open to the spouse and children of a will-maker there
are legal time limits within which it must be brought, and, as is the case with all litigation in the
Supreme Court of British Columbia, the unsuccessful litigant usually pays the costs of the
successful party as well as their own. So, this is not a course of action that is embarked upon
lightly, but should be thoroughly investigated beforehand.
If you think you have been treated by a parent in his or her Will contrary to what the law provides, contact us. We can help you decide what is the best course of action to take.
Dogwood Law Corporation 778-410-5090