In this day and age, it is not uncommon to find adult children who continue to live with their parents well into their parents’ golden years. These living arrangements can ultimately have profound effects on the relationships of siblings, both before and after the passing of their parents. A typical situation involves a sibling who remains at home who resents their sibling(s) for leaving the burden of parental caretaking duties to them. On the other hand, the sibling(s) living outside of their parents’ home believe that their sibling is taking advantage of their parent and squandering the estate.
A recent case recently released by the Supreme Court of British Columbia exemplifies how conflict can arise between siblings when it comes to their parent’s estate before a parent has passed away. In the case of Pellerin v. Pellerin, 2019 BCSC 2234, two siblings argued over their mother’s estate. One was acting as the mother’s committee (legal representative); while the other was living in the mother’s home and had done so, rent-free, for ten years and refused to vacate.
There was heavily conflicting information and an extreme level of acrimony in the evidence provided by both parties. The court ultimately made the decision to give the respondent sibling five weeks to vacate the property so it could be sold to cover the costs of the mother’s care and preserve the Estate for future needs.
Situations like these can be avoided or mitigated using a variety of strategies. At Hammerberg, we have experience in navigating these types of familial estate disputes. Contact us for a free consultation if you are experiencing a similar situation.
Please click here to read the full judgement and the reasons behind the court’s decision.