BC Court of Appeal decision on executorís duties to notify estranged children of testatorís first marriage of probate application (case digest)

Where the executrix became aware after testatorís death that he had estranged adult children by a first marriage, the chambers judge found the executrix took inadequate steps to notify those children of the probate application in simply mailing notice to addresses she had no reason to believe were current. The chambers judge found that these circumstances gave rise to an estoppel, barring the defendant executrix and estate beneficiary from relying on limitation defence to wills variation action. The Court of Appeal expressed doubt as to judgeís conclusions regarding estoppel, but found it appropriate to revoke and reissue probate. The appeal court also found the wills variation action was commenced within 6 months of the date on which probate ought properly to have issued.

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