CRT Jurisdiction doesn’t Extend to Previous Owners

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The Civil Resolution Tribunal is an online dispute resolution tribunal that handles many strata disputes as well as small claims matters under $5,000. Recently, the CRT was asked to resolve a dispute between a former owner of a strata lot and the strata corporation. Before the CRT could make a decision, it had to consider whether it had jurisdiction to resolve the claim. Continue reading “CRT Jurisdiction doesn’t Extend to Previous Owners” »

Capacity to Marry: Devore-Thompson v. Poulain

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Marriage has significant legal implications on the succession of property. Yet, I don’t come across either in my practice or my reading, that many cases where a marriage is challenged on the basis that someone did not have the mental capacity to marry. I certainly don’t see as many cases challenging the validity of a marriage as I do challenging the validity of a will or transfer of property. Continue reading “Capacity to Marry: Devore-Thompson v. Poulain” »

Bach Estate

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In British Columbia, if you make a gift to one of the two witnesses to your will, or to the spouse of one of the two witnesses to your will, the usual rule is that the gift is invalid. This rule can lead to very harsh results, invalidating significant gifts to close family or friends, thwarting the will maker’s intentions.

Fortunately, the Wills, Estates and Succession Act contains a new provision allowing the court to declare that a gift to a witness, or to the spousal witness, is valid and may take effect, if the court is satisfied that the will maker intended to make the gift.

Continue reading “Bach Estate” »

What is a Residential Strata Lot?

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The issue of whether a strata lot is residential can have significant impact on how the strata corporation operates. Of significant concern (in many cases) is whether there are both residential and non-residential strata lots which means that any bylaw change requires 3/4 vote approval from the residential units and 3/4 vote approval from the non-residential units. But how does a strata corporation know whether some of the units are residential or not? Continue reading “What is a Residential Strata Lot?” »

Johnson v. North Shore Yacht Works Corp.

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In British Columbia, a trustee acting in the administration of a trust is generally entitled to be reimbursed for his or her reasonable expenses out of the trust assets. But what if the trustee makes a contract in respect of the trust assets, and there are insufficient assets in the trust to pay the amount owing? Might the trustee have to pay the shortfall out of his or her own pocket? Continue reading “Johnson v. North Shore Yacht Works Corp.” »

Parker v Felgate

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The issue to be decided by a jury in Parker v. Felgate (1883), L.R. 8 P. D. 171 (Eng P.D.A.), was whether Georgina Compton was competent to make her will. There was no question that Georgina Compton had capacity to make a will when she gave her instructions to Mr. Parker. In light of her capacity when she gave instructions, what level of functioning was required for her to make a valid will at the time she answered “yes” when asked if she wished Mrs. Flack to sign on her behalf?

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Strata Property Act doesn’t Protect Short Term Rentals

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The ability to rent a strata lot can be very important to some owners and the entire reason that they purchased the strata lot. However, the Strata Property Act does permit a strata corporation to restrict rentals: whether any rentals are permitted; how many strata lots may be rented at a time; or the minimal term for rentals (i.e. minimum one year). Continue reading “Strata Property Act doesn’t Protect Short Term Rentals” »

Default Strata Collections

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In three interesting decisions from the Civil Resolution Tribunal (“CRT”), three different strata corporations sued individual owners to collect amounts from the owners. What is interesting about those decisions is that the individual owners failed to respond to the CRT disputes and the strata corporations were able to obtain default orders regarding the claimed amounts. Because the owners didn’t respond, the CRT did not consider whether the amounts were properly claimed from the owners: it assumed responsibility. Continue reading “Default Strata Collections” »

Hiding Assets in Divorce Proceeding Backfires

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To some extent, the court process depends on the integrity of the people involved, including the parties to a lawsuit, as well as their lawyers. Of course, some people do lie. The process allows for pre-trial document disclosure and examinations under oath. At a trial, there are usually several witnesses, and lawyers have the opportunity to question opposing parties as well as all of the witnesses Continue reading “Hiding Assets in Divorce Proceeding Backfires” »

Bach Estate

By | Sabey Rule Blog | No Comments

In British Columbia, if you make a gift to one of the two witnesses to your will, or to the spouse of one of the two witnesses to your will, the usual rule is that the gift is invalid. This rule can lead to very harsh results, invalidating significant gifts to close family or friends, thwarting the will maker’s intentions.

Fortunately, the Wills, Estates and Succession Act contains a new provision allowing the court to declare that a gift to a witness, or to the spousal witness, is valid and may take effect, if the court is satisfied that the will maker intended to make the gift. Continue reading “Bach Estate” »

Committee’s Power to Waive Privilege on Behalf of Patient

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There are many circumstances where a committee appointed to look after the affairs of a mentally incompetent patient may need to access the contents of a patient’s file materials from a lawyer. The cases of Derlago v Derlago, (1994) 93 BCLR (2d) 307, 2ETR (2d) 315 and Re: Elsie Jones, 2009 BCSC 1306, at paras 12-13, clarifies that the authority to make decisions regarding a patient’s property, including legal files, extends to the committee.

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CRT Collections

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Several strata corporations have turned to the online Civil Resolution Tribunal (“CRT”) to collect strata fees and special levies from their owners. There are at least five reported CRT decisions with respect to collections alone. Three of those decisions were for a single strata corporation.

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Consolidating Bylaws

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While it may be convenient to use a consolidated set of bylaws, especially when there have been numerous, piecemeal revisions to the bylaws over the years, relying on a consolidated set of bylaws can create serious issues. Further issues can be caused when a strata corporation files a consolidated set of bylaws in the Land Title Office (the “LTO”). A strata corporation should only distribute the filed, legal version of the bylaws to its owners.

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Assets Held in a Discretionary Trust May Affect Some Types of Assistance for Beneficiaries with Disabilities (But Still Often a Good Idea)

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I have often suggested to clients with children or other intended beneficiaries of their estates with disabilities that they consider creating discretionary trusts for the beneficiary with a disability if the beneficiary is eligible for British Columbia benefits for persons with disability. Continue reading “Assets Held in a Discretionary Trust May Affect Some Types of Assistance for Beneficiaries with Disabilities (But Still Often a Good Idea)” »

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