Trends in Estate Law, a BC view

James Zaistoff and Owen Bird have written a very helpful article (“12 Trends in Estate Litigation for 2022”) where they list what they think are the “top trends and recurring themes” as we go into 2022.  While it is a BC-centered article it is definitely worth reading because such laws and trends are remarkably similar in Canada’s common law (i.e. non-Quebec) courts.

1. Challenging whether a person was actually the “spouse” of the deceased

2. The registered legal owner of property may not be the beneficial owner

3. Admitting testamentary documents which do not meet the formal requirements for a Will

4. Courts are reluctant to remove trustees unless the assets of the trust are in jeopardy

5. Courts struggle to deal with complicated issues of (alleged) elder abuse

6. Electronic wills

7. Litigants cannot assume that all parties will be awarded their costs from the estate.

8. Litigants claim in unjust enrichment when they don’t receive adequate provision from the estate.

9. The Court grapples with new and unconventional relationships

10. Supreme Court of Canada considers sealing orders for estate filings

11. Importance of documenting transactions between family members

12. Wills variation claims

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