The petitioner, Debi, sought a determination pursuant to s. 58 of WESA whether the signed document of her deceased father, Larry, dated February 7, 2016, represented his intentions to replace his Will dated August 11, 2015. The petition was not opposed. This case was another example which highlighted the use of the s. 58 curative provisions of WESA to assist the court in determining an individuals' wishes after death.
The case of Sato v. Sato 2017 BCSC 1394 highlights the analysis in determining where an individual is domiciled. Where an individual is domiciled becomes important when it influences whether or not a will may be revoked due to a marriage – ss. 14 and 15 of the former Wills Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 489 provided that the marriage of the testator of a will revokes the will, unless the will was made in contemplation of marriage.
The testatrix died February 9, 2015, aged 91, and was survived by 3 children. The will, made September of 2000, detailed her daughter, the petitioner in this action, was to receive “any property which I may own and be using as a home at the date of my death”. At the time the will was made, the testatrix owned a home on Hornby Island, but it was later sold and, at the time of her death, she did not own a home. The question became, should the daughter receive an amount equivalent to the proceeds of sale of the property?
The Plaintiff was born to the testatrix, but was subsequently legally adopted when he was ~1 year old. The Plaintiff later reunited with his birth mother and they enjoyed a loving relationship. In his birth mother's will, the Plaintiff was to be left a portion of her estate. The Plaintiff brought an action seeking variation of the will pursuant to s. 60 of WESA, but the Executor of her estate brought an application to dismiss the Plaintiff's claim arguing he did not have standing to advance such an action under WESA.
Two sisters were at odds over the ownership of their deceased mother’s home. In 1989 their mother had transferred the title of her home to herself and the appellant sister, Ms. Cooper, as joint tenants. Their mother died in June of 2012 and Ms. Cooper took title by survivorship. Her sister, Ms. Franklin, had argued the 1989 transfer was gratuitous and Ms. Cooper held the title of the property in trust for their mother’s estate. Ms. Cooper argued there was an agreement between her and her mother for which consideration was given. The trial judge found there was no 1989 agreement and the property was held in trust for the estate. Ms. Cooper appealed this decision.
This curious case arose after the deceased had struggled with extensive medical conditions, but he and his wife had wanted to have a family together and agreed the wife would use his reproductive material to conceive a child. The couple had agreed that regardless of whether he died, the wife would use his reproductive material to conceive. The deceased died intestate and the estate passed to his wife whereupon she applied for a declaration that the human reproductive material of her husband was her sole legal property and that it should be released to her for her use absolutely to create embryos.