Life Wills & Estate Planning
Understanding Wills: Part 7
May 15, 2013
Did you know that your Will can be changed by the Court under BC’s Wills Variation Act? The Act allows unhappy spouses and children of the deceased to make a wills variation claim to the court to have the terms of the Will altered.
Some basic information about the law around the Wills Variation Act:
A wills variation claim can be made by a spouse or children of the deceased and must be made within 6 months from the date of the issue of probate of the Will in BC (probate is the process of getting the court to rule that the Will is legally valid).
“Spouse” under the Act includes same-sex and common law spouses who were living together in a marriage-like relationship for at least two years.
“Children” includes adopted children but excludes step-children.
If the court finds that the will maker died leaving a Will that does not make adequate provision for the proper maintenance and support of his or her spouse or children, the court has discretion to vary the Will to make the Will, in the court’s opinion, adequate, just, and equitable in the circumstances.
The policy behind the Act is that the will maker has a legal and a moral obligation to give fair consideration to his or her spouse and children when preparing a Will. While the “moral obligation” of the will maker is highly dependent on the facts, the courts look to whether the will maker was “acting in accordance with society’s reasonable expectations of what a judicious parent [and spouse] would do in the circumstance by reference to contemporary community standards.” (Clucas v. Royal Trust Corporation of Canada es qual, 1999 CanLII 5519, para.12).
It is important to understand that the law surrounding the Wills Variation Act makes it difficult to disinherit a spouse/child, and the will maker must have rational reasons for disproportionately distributing assets to his or her spouse/children.
Life Local Inspirations Working from . . .
Working From . . . Bean at Lonsdale Quay
May 8, 2013
Yesterday I started my morning sipping tea at Bean Around the World at Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver. On a beautiful & warm
summer spring morning, it’s a nice way to start the day, seeing the downtown landscape across Vancouver Harbour.
Did you know there’s a summer night market at the Shipyard Square every Thursdays and Fridays between May 10 – October 11? There will be farm produce, food trucks, entertainment (including board games!), and artisans vendors. All the wholesome goodness that makes markets so great. It makes use of the lovely space that’s usually deserted, and the pier is a nice place to catch the sunset. Go check it out!
Gastown Local Inspirations
Local Inspiration: East Van Roasters
May 1, 2013
Visit East Van Roasters and you will fall in love with the place immediately. The rich smell of pure cocoa beans is in the air as you walk into the beautiful space, where you get to peek in on the process involved in creating in-house ‘bean-to-bar’ chocolates. East Van Roasters is a PHS Community Services Society social enterprise, so in addition to enjoying their chocolates, pastries, and hot drinks, you feel a sense of community as you sit down to treat yourself to a piece of chocolate made by true artisans. It’s just around the corner of Carrall and Cordova, and not-to-be-missed for any chocolate lover in the city.
Find East Van Roasters at 319 Carrall Street, in Gastown, Vancouver.
Life Wills & Estate Planning
Understanding Wills: Part 6
April 24, 2013
Do you have sentimental or valuable ‘things’ you’d like someone special in your life to have? If so, you can designate specific items to the special someone as gifts under your will. It can be anything – your records or guitar collection, your engagement and wedding rings, your coveted high-performance sports equipments, your vintage car, the recipe book that’s been handed down for generations.
Alternatively, you might consider leaving a cash gift to a family member, a special friend, or a charity organization you have supported during your lifetime.
As hard as it is to think about what should go in your will, it’s an opportunity to think about the important people in your life and how they make your life special and meaningful.
Working from . . .
Working From . . . Coffeebar
April 17, 2013
Some afternoons, particularly in the hours between 2pm and 4pm, it can be insanely difficult to focus and get some work done. I love coffee shops for the little break you can have in your day, where you can step away from your computer, take your notebook, and jot down ideas that didn’t come to you while sitting in an office. Maybe it’s being amongst other people and getting a glimpse of the hustle and bustle of everyone’s Wednesday afternoon that gets the brain working again, or (more likely) it’s the much needed caffine jolt.
Today, I went across the street to Coffeebar at 10 Water Street in Gastown.