SOURCE: Kushner Law

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May 17, 2017 19:09 ET

Vancouver Lawyers Publish Article on the "Arm-Chair Rule" in Estate Litigation

Vancouver lawyers examine how Courts make factual determinations for deceased persons

VANCOUVER, BC--(Marketwired - May 17, 2017) - The Vancouver-based lawyers at Kushner Law Group know that one of the most challenging and fascinating aspects of Estate Litigation is that Courts are often required to make factual determinations about the intentions of a will -- when the only person who knows the truth is dead! Their latest blog examines how Courts can use a tool known as the "Arm-Chair Rule" to aid in their interpretation. For more, go to:

With money and property on the line, there's no doubt that a lack of clarity in a will can have ramifications for the deceased's relatives. When this happens, the Wills, Estates and Succession Act allows Courts in British Columbia to interpret Wills to ensure that the document's true intent is affected.

The article cites the case of The Paul Sugar Palliative Support Foundation v. Creighton Estate, 2017 BCSC 502, where Madame Justice Gray explained how the "Arm-Chair Rule" was used to resolve the conflict:

[4] I am satisfied that the proper interpretation of this clause in the circumstances of this testator is that the money was to be available to be used by the charitable organization to PSPSF. In doing that, I am relying on what is sometimes called the "armchair rule", where the court has to endeavour to place itself in the position of the testator at the time when the last will was made, and give due weight to the circumstances. Among the circumstances here are that the will was prepared by the executor who is a lawyer, and who has given affidavit evidence essentially to the effect that she understood the gift was going to be given to PSPSF with no limitations, and that by using the word "capital", there was not intended to be any limitation on how the funds were to be used."

In this case, the judge had the benefit of evidence presented by the executor, who also happened to be a lawyer, but many of these problems can be circumvented with the help of a professional who understands wills and estate planning.

For help with estate planning, or if you're involved in litigation, please contact the Kushner Law Group today to schedule a consultation at 604-629-0432 or online.

About the Company

The Kushner Law Group was founded on the principle that a small law firm should be able to offer the same level of legal advice as a big firm at an affordable cost. A unique combination of legal experience and creativity allows the professionals at Kushner to come up with creative and practical solutions for a variety of legal problems.

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Contact Information

  • Kushner Law Group
    Lars Kushner
    Phone 604-629-0432
    Fax 604-689-4451
    Company website:
    1008 Beach Ave #105