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Category: Canada Law
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Experience:  Lawyer
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BRITISH COLUMBIA Estate Law is what we need. My InLaws have

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BRITISH COLUMBIA Estate Law is what we need.
My InLaws have passed away [father in law over 4 years ago, mother in law a couple of months ago] and had a sizeable estate, I'm guessing at least a million. There are 3 adult grandchildren, all between 35-40 years. All 3 grandchildren live in Alberta. They were in their late 80's when they passed. I know they wanted their family to inherit their estate. Both their sons pre-deceased them, 3 grandchildren are the only family.

An old friend of theirs apparently had Mrs. sign a Will 2-1/2 years ago (within the family we know she has been senile for 6 or more years) and they made themselves the executor and the sole holder of ALL ASSETS. The Will apparently gives them the freedom to buy real estate or do whatever they want with the funds. Under that Will, each grandchild gets $10,000. each on Jan. 1 of each year.

It is impossible for the grandchildren to even live long enough to use up the estate that way. Besides that, this couple is 65-70 years old and seem to be setting up the situation so that THEIR 2 daughters get the bulk of the estate.

Can anything be done? My in-laws lived for decades in the same area of British Columbia so it will be under BC law. Please help.
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Has this executor applied to probate the will?

If so did the grandchildren get a notice about making a claim to the estate under the Wills Variation Act? Did they get copies of the will?

Was that Will drafted by a lawyer?

Is there medical evidence to support the fact that the grandmother was mentally incompetent and therefore could not have testamentary capacity two and half years ago?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you so much. No, I doubt anybody has bothered to make sure she was declared mentally incompetent. If it's necessary I expect the adult grandchildren will have to try and find out from her doctor but if they don't have executor rights to her estate, I'm guessing they wouldn't be able to get it.

Plus they all live in Alberta and wouldn't know how to begin or who to begin with since the executor is clearly trying to secure the estate for themselves.


I'll send my son an email and ask about the probate and such but I doubt he has a clue.


Thank you again :)

Essentially, the law in BC is different than in most of the other provinces.

When a Will is probated all of the next of kin who would inherit if there was no Will must be provided with a copy of the Will and notice that advises them that they have a right to make a claim under the Wills Variation Act.

The Wills Variation Act is an Act that allows the court the right to change the terms of the Will if the Will is not fair to the heirs.

So, at the very least these adult grandchildren have a right to make a claim to the estate.

As well, this is a very troubling set of facts. Firstly, it sounds like the grandmother may not have been mentally competent when she changed her Will. Second, even if she was mentally competent these facts reek of undue influence.

So, I think that there is little doubt that the adult grandchildren should be retaining and estate lawyer in BC right away.

They can contact the BC Branch of the Canadian Bar Association and use their Lawyer Referral Service. They will be given the name of a lawyer and can consult with the lawyer and the first half hour will be $25.

The number is:

604.687.3221 or 1.800.663.1919.

Let me know if you need any further clarification.
Legal Ease, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 95607
Experience: Lawyer
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