In B.C. a testator has a moral and a legal obligation to treat their children equally. If one child is left less than his or her siblings it’s important for the testator to know that their will may be challenged after their death.
If such a will is to be made it’s very important for the lawyer to take very careful notes to determine the reason one child is being excluded and to document the testator’s instructions (ideally verbatim).
The testator’s reason can be stated in the will. An example can be found in Spence v. BMO Trust Company 2016 ONCA 196 where Eric Spence wrote in his will:
“I specifically bequeath nothing to my daughter, [Verolin] as she has had no communication with me for several years and has shown no interest in me as her father.”
Even with these types of clauses the will may be successfully challenged and the will itself and/or the lawyer’s notes may become evidence in a trial.
Deborah A. Todd