The Issue of “Issue”: Construction of Wills When Parentage is Contested

It is common for testators to make gifts to their “children”, “descendants” or “issue”, such as a “gift of the residue of my estate to my issue per stirpes.” Because biological lineage is, it would seem, the criterion for entitlement to such gifts, beneficiaries under a will can try to increase their share of the … Read more

Full Indemnity Costs in Estate Litigation: Don’t Take it Personally

Emotion is a powerful driver of lawsuits. Estate litigation is especially prone to devolve into a forum for family infighting, with devastating consequences. In Holowaychuk v Lopushinsky, 2016 ABCA 102, the Alberta Court of Appeal upheld an important decision regarding costs in such emotion-driven cases, allowing full indemnity costs against the unsuccessful litigant. The trial judgment, Lopushinsky … Read more

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