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 testator had two sons, but one did not know the identity of his biological father until his teenage years. When the testator died, he left the estate equally between his sister, the executrix of the estate, and one of his son’s (E). Subsequently, in 2013, E’s mother brought an application (as legal guardian), on E’s behalf, under the Wills Variation Act to vary the will. Through this application, the matter was settled whereupon E would receive 80% of the estate and W would receive 20%. Later, the estranged son, J, brought an action for an order that the will provide provision for him as well.
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.
In 2003, Sheikh Salem Homoud Al-Jaber Al-Sabah passed away intestate and left 15 beneficiaries. His family has since been caught up in estate litigation across several countries as he held properties in Kuwait, Gibraltar, London, and B.C. His beneficiaries included his two sons, his two wives, and his seven daughters. While two of his daughters did not participate in this litigation, one, Sheikha Salem Homoud Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, is the appellant in this action. She sought to appeal an order from an application revoking the grant of letters of administration of her father’s estate (located in B.C.). The chambers judge had found the daughter had not exercised reasonable diligence in providing notice to the beneficiaries of her intention to apply for administration of the estate in BC and she had failed to disclose relevant information.
The litigation had been commenced many years ago in 2003 and had essentially been sitting stagnant as no substantial steps had been taken to move the matter forward. The plaintiff, the wife of the deceased, had begun the action after her husband’s death in 2002 and the action was brought ahead after her subsequent death in 2015. The action was brought by the plaintiff’s personal representative and the claim sought variation of the late husband’s will as it did not make adequate, just and equitable provision for her.Importantly, since the testator’s death, the plaintiff had been living in the matrimonial home and the executors of the estate, the testator’s children, had been providing some money from the estate to assist the plaintiff’s living situation.
The petitioners, the sons of the deceased, applied to remove the executor and trustee under the last will of their father. With their application, they also sought an order appointing them as executors and trustees in substitution of the respondent. The respondent, the widow, sought a number of orders. After isolating the issue, the court granted the respondent’s application to remove her and place them in the position of executor and trustee of their father’s estate.
The Deceased’s Will named a niece as Executor and sole beneficiary of the estate. Through the regular path, the named niece brought an application for probate and was issued a grant. The Deceased’s nephew then brought an action against the niece in her personal capacity, and in the capacity as executor, challenging the will claiming the Deceased lacked testamentary capacity and was unduly influenced by the niece. The nephew sought an order that the will was invalid and damages for unjust enrichment and quantum meruit. The niece also sought an order including one under s. 86 of the Trustee Act for advice and directions respecting management or administration of trust property and that she was entitled to use estate funds to defend the civil action.
Candace Yates sought determination pursuant to s. 58 of WESA whether the unsigned, draft will of Jann Louise MacInnis Bailey, dated December 2014, represented her intentions to replace or alter her last will and testament dated January 29, 2008.
Ms. Cates was Ms. Bailey’s lawyer and had drafted the will of 2008 and drafted the unsigned will of 2014. She is the named executrix in the 2008 will and the co-executor in the 2014 draft will and requires the court’s determination otherwise she is unable to swear the affidavit required of an executor under the Supreme Court Rules for probate.
Ms. Cates’ position is that the 2014 draft will, in whole or in part, represents the testamentary intention of Ms. Bailey.
The deceased passed away on January 5, 2015 with her spouse passing away several hours earlier. The couple lived in a common law relationship for approximately 35 years until they married in 2012. The applicant, the deceased's granddaughter, had been appointed executrix of the will and had found a number of documents in a funeral box while searching for her grandmother's testamentary documents. She then applied for determinations that two handwritten records represented the testamentary intentions of her grandmother and were fully effective as though they had been made as or part of her will.
Celena Beck’s son, acting as the executor of his mother’s estate, applied for court orders under s. 58 of WESA. He applied to determine whether handwritten alterations of the Will of his deceased mother, dated from 2009, and a handwritten record signed by her in 2012 represent her testamentary intentions, the intention to alter her Will, or are otherwise testamentary dispositions by her. Additionally, he sought an order and declaration setting out the result of the court’s determination and an order that his costs as executor be paid out of the estate of his mother.