Thursday, December 02, 2010

Leftist Canadian Court Overturns Man's Will

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One of the sacrosanct pillars of Canadian law, custom, and culture is that a man's will is a man's will.

A guy dies and gives all his money to his son, leaving his four daughters with nothing. Was this wrong? Perhaps. Unjust?  Sounds like it. Was this guy mean and wicked? Maybe. Was it his money, and therefore his right to do so? Yes.


Until the leftist Canadian judiciary steps in.

The B.C. Supreme Court judge overturned the man’s will, saying his estate should be settled based on ‘‘contemporary moral standards’’ -- meaning the judge's or the state's shifting moral standards, not the individual's.

Apparently it's only your money if you spend it the right way. Otherwise, it's the state's money. Which really means it isn't yours at all -- it's only yours as long as you spend it the right way and the state allows you to have it.  (Kind of like the studies which show how much it "costs" the government to let you keep some of your money by tax deductions.)

The son, who would have been free to do what he saw fit with the money, including redressing his father's unjust action (if that is what it was) will now receive 20% of his father’s assets.  His lawyer is considering an appeal.

The man could have given his son all this money the day before he died, or, he could have given it all to charity, or he could have donated it all to the Canadian Supreme Court Justices Benevolent Fund and that is the point of a will -- it expresses your will and is supposed to be carried out after your death.

I feel for the daughters, but I'm holding the line on this one. What do you think?

Read more.

Update: For more on BC's law, and how it varies with Canadian common law, go here.

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Joe said...

I'm wondering why this wound up in court to begin with. Were I the son and I knew the old man's intentions I would have called my sisters and told them that once the estate is settled I would split it up equally with them. To keep the peace I would have even put it in writing.

RkBall said...

Joe -- you have the wisdom of Solomon. Are you Edmonton Joe, or???

Joe said...

Yes Richard I live in Edmonton.

Ted Betts said...

According to the article, "In British Columbia, a parent has a moral obligation to provide for their children after death under the Wills Variation Act, said Trevor Todd, a lawyer who exclusively defends disinherited people. It’s also the only province in which a non-dependent adult child can challenge his or her deceased parent’s will."

So how exactly is he a "lefty" judge for following the law passed by the elected representatives of British Columbia?

Frances said...

This is not uncommon in British Columbia. I've attended several seminars in which strategies to ensure the money goes where the legator wishes have been presented. Trusts of some sort usually seem to be the answer.

KC said...

"One of the sacrosanct pillars of Canadian law... is that a man's will is a man's will."

Wrong. I won't say one way or another if I agree with this decision or not but there are a whole number of "laws"--many of which were passed by elected legislatures--limiting mans "will".

In this case it was a statute, passed by the elected legislature of the province of British Columbia that overrode this guys "will". This decision was based on the BC Wills Variation Act which expressly empowers the judge to did what he did.

Whether that is right or not is open for debate, but whether or not he was acting in accordance with established law is not.

RkBall said...


Perhaps I should have said, "traditional Canadian law", or Canadian law based on our British common law heritage.

I wouldn't consider contemporary BC law a pillar of anything.

RkBall said...


1. BC is leftist province passing leftist laws and empowering leftist judges.

2. By the characterization of the judge's ruling: the estate should be settled based on ‘‘contemporary moral standards’’ (and not, merely, "what the law states") -- which means that this ruling is nothing more than the judge holding up his finger into the wind, figuring out what the contemporary moral standards of the day happen to be, and then ruling accordingly.

RkBall said...

"Although every common law province in Canada has dependent’s relief legislation permitting the courts to vary a Will where the maker of the Will (the “testator”) has not provided adequately for his or her dependants, British Columbia law is unique. The Wills Variation Act is both broader and narrower in its application than legislation in other provinces.

The Wills Variation Act, in contrast to legislation in most other provinces, allows independent adult children who were not dependant on the testator when he or she died to make a claim. On the other hand, some dependants, such as dependant stepchildren, cannot apply to vary a Will under the Act."

Frances said...

I commented earlier, but have learned via other blogs that the dead man's despised daughters were, in fact, caring for him in his later days. If this is true, than their father's ingratitude is only bettered by their brother's. The latter should, out of basic deciency, have given his sisters something.

That being said, there are a lot of men and women out there who are content to let a brother or sister do all the heavy lifting when it comes to caring after Mum or Dad, but who are first to say any estate should be settled equally (if not to their advantage), and will not hesitate to bitch continually until they have received their 'share', even if it means the executor may be at risk because Canada Revenue Agency hasn't cleared the estate.

RkBall said...


The father was wrong to not include his daughters, but the state was also wrong in over-ruling his will.

Inheritance from parent to child is the natural course of things, but it is not a right. I looked after my mother in her final years. I was honoured to be included in her will, but I did not feel that I was either entitled or owed a penny. It was HER money.

johndoe124 said...

This is so typically Canadian: I'm entitled to what doesn't belong to me and the Canadian courts and government will make sure that I get it.

Kind of pathetic.

"... nothing intellectually compelling or challenging.. bald assertions coupled to superstition... woefully pathetic"