Who owns the home?
Last year, I reported on the B.C. Supreme Court case McKendry v. McKendry, where the Court held that a son who lived with his mother until she died (in 2012) did not own her home outright, but rather held it in Trust for him and his siblings.
Well, the son appealed. Reasons were released by the Court of Appeal recently in a brief but important judgement.
The deceased’s son moved into the house in 2006. The deceased added the son as a joint tenant owner in 2008, but it was not a true joint tenancy with right of survivorship.
The deceased’s Lawyer prepared a Declaration of Trust in 2008, but the son did not sign it. Another Declaration of Trust was prepared in 2010 with a different Lawyer, but the son did not sign it either.
In late-2010, the deceased prepared a note in which she stated that she would give her house to her son, in full. The deceased confirmed it in a telephone conversation with the Lawyer.
The Court of Appeal held here that, since the intentions of the deceased were clear, it was not necessary to have a deed of gift done (to confirm who really “owned” the house). The son owned it, and the siblings had no interest in the house.
I cannot tell from the case whether the deceased intended to bequeath the vast majority of her Estate to one of her five children. The size of her total Estate is not discussed, although it does not appear there was much else.
It was clear, though, that the deceased intended to give her house to her son. In B.C., intention reigns.
This ad ran in the Richmond News on February 3, 2017.