Summary Trials in Estate Litigation – Part 1

Estate litigation can often be complex, time consuming and costly. Our court system in British Columbia is already overburdened with a number of cases and obtaining a trial date can often involve a significant waiting period. Additionally, the cost of taking a matter to a conventional trial can be prohibitive.


One option for potential litigants is to have the matter heard by way of a summary trial. Summary Trials are trials before a  Judge where the evidence is presented by way of affidavit only. There are no witnesses giving oral evidence in the Court. Summary trials  are only available in limited circumstances and are not available to litigants where there are issues of credibility where a Judge must hear from the witnesses themselves in order to make  determinations.


In the recent decision of Boyd v Shears, 2018 BCSC 194, Mr. Justice Smith was asked to hear a wills variation application under the Wills Estates and Succession Act by way of summary trial. The parties agreed that that the will of the Deceaded failed to make adequate provision for the plaintiff husband but could not agree on the specific variation. One of the parties who did not have standing to see a variation herself refused to sign the Agreement reached by all other parties.


In part II of this blog we will review the decision of the Court.


If you wish to challenge a will, or are involved in Estate Litigation, contact the Kushner Law Group today to schedule a consultation.

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