Last week, reasons for judgment were released in the case BH v. JH. The case involves a family with three adult children, whose parents were born in Germany and emigrated to Canada in the 1950s.
Not long after their marriage in 1956, the wife became ill with Schizophrenia and ultimately lived in a group home. The husband did not enter a new relationship.
One of the three children, a daughter, lived in the matrimonial home all of her adult life, was not in a relationship and had no children. The other two children, both sons, lived independently but were not in solid financial situations, and were in regular contact and on good terms with their parents.
The sons and the Public Trustee (for the disabled wife) sought to vary the Will, which was made by the deceased in 1989, without advice and under which the two sons and the wife were disinherited. The deceased died in 2009.
The Estate, consisting primarily of the matrimonial home, was valued at just over $500,000. The Court felt that the wife’s moral claim was higher than that of the sons and awarded her a $60,000 share of the Estate, while the sons were each awarded $50,000 in light of the contributions they made to his life.
The balance was given to the daughter, who had by far the greatest need and whose contribution to her father’s well-being was also the highest.
The Court, in my opinion, reached a good decision in complex, difficult circumstances.
This ad originally appeared in the Richmond News on September 11, 2015.