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Exciting News from MerGen Law!

Posted by MerGen Law | Jul 02, 2024 | 0 Comments

We are pleased to announce a major victory in the Court of Appeal of Alberta in Gordon Estate (Re), 2024 ABCA 169. MerGen Law successfully represented our client in a significant estate litigation case, upholding the validity of a contested will.
After being left out of her father's will, the Deceased's daughter challenged her father's will, questioning his mental capacity. Despite the Court of King's Bench of Alberta dismissing her claims (Gordon Estate (Re), 2023 ABKB 132), the daughter appealed, determined to make her case.

The Court of Appeal confirmed the Deceased was of sound mind when he signed his will. This decision was supported by comprehensive medical records, the presumption of the capacity principle established in Vout v Hay and the testamentary capacity standard set out in Banks v Goodfellow.
While the Deceased's deteriorating medical condition raised "suspicious circumstances," there was no convincing evidence of incapacity at the time of the will's execution.
The court stated there was no undue influence. The Court of Appeal found our client, the grand daughter of the Deceased took care of the Deceased and acted with love towards the Deceased. The Deceased was found to be quite independent, and his will was recognized as conveying his true intent. The disinherited daughter's challenge to the special chambers judge's findings was dismissed. The Court of Appeal emphasized the deference owed to lower court decisions in fact finding and in the application of the law, in the absence of palpable and overriding error. The Court of Appeal stated re-weighing the evidence was not the appellate court's role.
This victory is a testament to the hard work and expertise of our team and Carscallen LLP. Together we upheld the Deceased's wishes in his will and secured justice for our client. Special thanks to MerGen's John Fletcher for his excellent advocacy in the Court of Appeal of Alberta.

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