Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign – By Corey J. Bow
The plaintiff in this very important BC waiver case was an avid snowboarder from Australia. He was visiting and working at the Whistler Mountain Resort but was catastrophically injured while snowboarding on Grouse Mountain. He was snowboarding in the Terrain Park and attempted an advance level jump. He landed badly and was rendered a quadriplegic. He started a lawsuit against Grouse Mountain claiming breach of contract and that the Mountain was negligent. He also claimed that they failed to keep the Mountain safe for its users.
A Foster Family Forever - By George Gunnink
Foster Farley was a much-loved member of his foster family. To the end of his life on this earth, he was surrounded by and cared for by his foster siblings, with whom he had grown up since the age of 3. Farley was always treated as a full child by his foster parents, and even shared equally with his foster siblings in his foster mother’s estate when she passed. He knew nothing of his birth family, and at his date of death, his closest blood relatives were a birth aunt and niece in Switzerland, with whom he had no relationship. Farley died without a will, so his estate was destined for the Swiss relatives.
The Preferred Roman Choice for Care – By Tyler B. Dennis
Julius Caesar returned to Delta, BC in 2019, after living abroad in Italy for nearly 50 years. His return had been facilitated by his nephew, Octavian after his uncle began to suffer the worsening onset of dementia. Prior to his return, Octavian had assisted his uncle by managing Julius’ finances and his medical care in Italy. Julius executed a Power of Attorney in 2015, naming Octavian as attorney.
Till Death Do Us Part – By Stuart D. Robertson
Don and Debra lived together in unwedded bliss for almost ten years. When they started to live together, neither of them had much money, but they were able to purchase a home of their own with basically no money down. The property and mortgage had to be put into Don’s name only as Debra had some credit problems. They both took a lot of pride in their home and over the course of their ten-year relationship, they both put a lot of hard work and money into the property, including renovating and making regular lump sum mortgage payments. After about ten years, the home had tripled in value from when they had initially purchased it and the mortgage was paid off in full.
Claire left a will that she did not update after she separated from her husband. Upon her death, litigation ensued to try to sort out who should take on the executor’s duties and who should receive her estate. Rather than have a judge decide the matter, a settlement agreement was reached, where Claire’s late husband’s niece, Administrator Annie, would take on the executor’s duties (as an administrator) and the estate would be split 55% to her, and 45% to Claire’s nieces and nephews.
WHOSE HOUSE IS IT, ANYWAY? - BY GEORGE GUNNINK
Jack and Jill were partners in a real estate venture. Many years ago, they purchased a property together, with each of them contributing one-half of the purchase price and closing costs. They found a renter for the property and opened a bank account together, where all the rent was deposited, and expenses were paid from. They each reported 50% of the income and expenses for the property on their tax returns.
Anne and Henry had been married for about 5 years when they mutually decided to end their marriage. They worked together and agreed on how to divide all their assets and debts. Henry agreed to arrange and pay for the divorce. He decided to try and do it himself but had trouble completing the process through the courts, resulting in some delay. Henry eventually submitted the order for divorce with the court and was just waiting for it to be filed. Meanwhile, Anne kept asking him, on an all too regular basis, whether the divorce was complete. After Henry submitted the order to the court, he advised Anne that the divorce was complete in order to stop Anne from nagging him. Henry was unaware that Anne was in a new relationship and that she wanted to get remarried.
ARE YOU MY “SPOUSE”? – BY STUART D. ROBERTSON
Daphne and Duke started living together about ten years ago. Each had one child from a prior relationship. They all lived together in a home registered in Duke’s name only. Daphne and Duke made a point of keeping their finances separate, each making their own separate major purchases and Duke maintaining any expenses related to the house. Daphne paid Duke a monthly amount for her expenses. They both filed their respective income taxes as “single” each year. They each took rather limited roles in the care of the other’s child. While it is acknowledged that they did care for each other, Duke, on one occasion, went on vacation instead of staying home with Daphne after a hip replacement surgery.
The Unintended Gift - By Stuart D. Robertson
The parties had been married for 9 years. They had no children. Prior to the relationship, the Husband owned a property that the wife moved into. The parties lived in this property for their entire relationship. The parties both spent a lot of time and money-making improvements to the home that was close to 100 years old. About 6 years into the relationship, the Wife was added to the title to the property so that the Husband and Wife were on title as joint tenants.
PICK YOUR BATTLES – BY GEORGE GUNNINK
Helpful Hanna was upset, as people often are when they resort to the courts. She had been very involved in her Aunt Annie’s businesses for many years and had also helped Annie with a lot of her personal affairs. Hanna figured she should be getting something for her efforts and became concerned when Annie made arrangements to transfer many of her assets to other family members. Hanna also discovered that Annie had signed a will that left all her estate to another niece. Hanna felt it was worth picking a fight over, as Annie’s assets were worth many millions of dollars. So, she started a claim, alleging that Annie had agreed to leave the bulk of Annie’s estate to Hanna by her will. While there was no formal written agreement, Hanna presented three letters that she said were written by Annie, confirming the alleged deal. In this case, unusually, Annie was alive to defend the claim and presented evidence of her own claiming that two of the alleged letters were not written by her. Experts were called upon to analyze the letters for authenticity, independent witnesses were called upon, and the judge had to weigh the credibility of the parties during the trial.
Huff, and Puff, and …Good Faith Eviction? – By Tyler B. Dennis
The three little pigs lived in Abbotsford, B.C., within one block of each other. One pig lived in a straw house, one a wood house, and one a brick house. They all rented their properties from the Big Bad Wolf, who was their landlord. After the November 2021 flooding, the straw house and the wooden house collapsed (although rumours say it was blown down by unusually strong winds), so all the pigs moved into the brick house.
BUSINESS OR PLEASURE? – BY COREY J. BOW
The Li family lived in China. The family became interested in immigrating to Canada after Mr. Li’s law school mate, Ms. Fung contacted him (20 years after she had moved to Canada). She offered to put them in contact with a Canadian immigration agency that would help with the process. According to Mr. Li, in the initial discussions, Ms. Fung said that she would not take any fees for her service but would merely receive a commission from the agency for her work as a self-described “errand runner” between the Li family and the agency.