Archive for February, 2017

February 10, 2017

How to Get Dropped from the Will

In a recent Ontario case, Quinlan v. Caron, a daughter sought to set aside the will of her mother. An earlier will left the estate to the daughter and a son. A later will left the estate to the son alone. The daughter sought to set aside the will on grounds of undue influence. The case provides a good analysis of the legal requirements for proving undue influence. The judge found there to be evidence of a real estrangement between the mother and daughter  and therefore valid reasons why she might have left the daughter out of the final will, leading to a finding that there was no undue influence.

The kicker for the judge though appeared to be evidence that when the father passed away, the daughter purchased a cemetery plot for him and one for herself (but apparently not the mother) and a headstone that said “Father dearly loved by [daughther] and grandchildren” – no mention of the mother or son. You might say from at least that moment forward, the daughter’s poor relationship with her mother was carved in stone (I hear you groaning by the way).