Ultimately this was a win for the three siblings that were initially left a smaller inheritance and cut out of the Will when it came to receiving their fair share of the home in Vancouver. This Will challenge led to the three children that were initially treated unfairly to receive a larger and more fair inheritance.
Summary of the case:
In Tang v. Tom, 2021 BCSC 1399, three of five siblings sought variation of their mother’s will, after two of the siblings received the family home located in Vancouver worth approximately $1.7 million.
The mother’s Will stated that the property in Vancouver would be split evenly between two children, but completely left out the three other children. The residue/remainder of the estate was to be divided equally among all five siblings (i.e. approximately $775,000.00 money in bank/investment accounts).
B.C. Supreme Court accepted that the three siblings that were left out had a moral claim to a portion of the estate, given that the family functioned as a single economic unit in the years leading up to the purchase of the house in Vancouver.
Regarding the mother’s will, the court found its variation justified in the circumstances. While the court accepted that the mother intended to favor the two siblings for their sacrifices in caring for her in the final years of her life, the court held that the Will’s distribution of the assets did not adequately, justly and equitably provide for the three other children who brought forward the Will Dispute.
The court ultimately decided that the two siblings (defendants) receive larger gifts of $300,000 each, while the remainder of the estate would be equally divided among all five siblings. The court’s view was that this variation would be the right balance between the mother’s intentions to recognize the sacrifice of the two siblings, while also fulfilling her moral obligations to the three other siblings.
The case can be found here:
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