BC Wills Variation & Inter-Vivos Transfers
BC Wills Variation
How BC Courts May Account for Gifts Between Living People
Wills Variation litigation is often involving parties who believe that have been treated unfairly following the death of a spouse or parent. While the Wills Estates and Succession Act provides certain classes of disappointed beneficiaries with an effective tool to remedy inequalities, the Court is limited in what it can do with respect property that is transferred outside of the will. One of the common ways that property is transferred outside of a will is by way of an inter vivos transfer.
The term inter-vivos transfer is a gift or transfer between living people. While the Court does have the jurisdiction to interfere with legitimate inter vivos transfers on wills variation application, the Court can consider the effect of the transfer when determining how much the will should be varied if at all. In the decision of Haegedorn v. Haegedorn, 2010 BCSC 836, the Court decided not to vary the will as a result of the inter vivos tranfers made during the lifetime of the will-maker:
 In the circumstances, I do not think the adjustment Robina made to the distribution could be said to be the act of an injudicious parent. She was attempting to even out the interests of the parties in an inheritance she saw, in broad terms, as including the share her mother had advanced to the plaintiff as a child. While there is a sense in which it could be said that she was considering something belonging to the plaintiff as weighing differently in the balance than the assets of her siblings, Robina’s way of looking after the plaintiff’s share of the property as an advance on the plaintiff’s inheritance was a valid – that is based on fact – and rational basis on which to achieve her concept of fairness.
Related BC Wills Variation Litigation Posts
- Summary Trials in BC Wills Variation Cases
- Why File A Certificate of Pending Litigation
- B.C. Estate Litigation: Hearing “Hearsay” Evidence