Late last month, reasons for judgement were released in a case called Pickard v. Knudsen. The Plaintiff, a son of the deceased, sued the Estate for the now well-known remedy of Unjust Enrichment, and alternatively for a variation of the Will under the Wills Variation Act. The Plaintiff’s sister is the named defendant.
The main asset in the Estate is a large parcel of land in Brackendale, on which there are two houses. The other asset is funds. The reasons for judgement focused on the land.
The Plaintiff made extensive contributions to the land over approximately 43 years. He was not paid, though he lives in one of the two houses. He helped build the second house on the property, he paid half the utilities and property taxes, and he helped maintain the property. He also worked for 25 years on a garbage contract his father had, and again was not paid.
The Court found there was an unjust enrichment, and granted a constructive trust in favour of the Plaintiff over half the property. The terms of the Will contemplated a division of the property into four parts. This ruling gave the Plaintiff the house in which he lives, on half the property.
It is a sort of indirect variation of the Will, but clearly the Plaintiff earned his remedy, over many years.
This ad appeared in the Richmond News on July 5, 2013.