In the case of Devore-Thompson v. Poulain, 2017 BCSC 1289, there was an application made to the court to declare the deceased’s marriage void, thus invalidating the gifts in her Will. The will-maker was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in 2005 and in 2008 was declared incapable of managing her financial and legal affairs. She moved into a care facility in 2010, where she remained until her death in late 2013 at age 74. The deceased had “married” in 2010, but she and her “husband” never lived together either before or after that date. Because the deceased was incapable of appreciating the nature of her marriage or understand who her “husband” was to her at the time of the marriage, the marriage was declared void. The Court determined that she lacked testamentary capacity when she made the will that left her assets to her “husband” and excluded her family members.
A lawyer will go to court for your loved ones to ensure that they are not taken advantage of when they are most vulnerable. In cases such as this, it is important to understand the evidence required by the court, as a case of undue influence can be difficult to prove. There may also be tension between family members due to the influencer which makes it difficult to obtain the information you need.
Hammerberg’s estate litigation lawyers will be able to assess your claim as an objective party and provide advice to help mitigate the damage from a predatory marriage.