Mussio Goodman Successful at Trial in Overturning Will For Disinherited ClientsPosted on by Mussio Goodman
We are pleased to announce that reasons for judgement were just released in our case Sharma v. Sharma Estate, 2016 BCSC 1397. The case centered on the Estate our clients’ mother, and her Will that disinherited three children in favour of one son.
In the Will, the defendant stood to inherit the entire Estate. The Estate was valued at upwards of $2 million and consisted of real estate in Canada as well as Fiji and other sizeable investments.
At trial, Wes Mussio argued that the Will of the deceased did not make a morally adequate provision for our disinherited clients (Rani and Ranjan). We argued that our clients had not been given any significant assets from their mother during their lifetime, while the defendant brother (Victor) was in receipt of financial support from his mother in the form of rent-free accommodation, a monthly stipend, and payment of various expenses for the duration of his entire adult life when he was not serving time in prison for attempted murder and other serious criminal activities.
Madam Justice Griffin agreed and accordingly varied the Will ordering 34% of the residue of the Estate to the Deceased’s daughter and 33% to each son.
 Judging Victor by contemporary standards would mean that he should not necessarily be disinherited simply because of his criminal activity, as he should be given a chance at rehabilitation. Similarly, the fact that there was some distance between Rani, Ranjan and the Testatrix later in her life can be understood by the circumstances which led to that distance, for which Rani and Ranjan ought not to be unduly criticized.
 Viewed objectively in light of current societal norms, when I compare and contrast the circumstances of Rani, Ranjan and Victor, I conclude that each sibling is morally deserving of a share of the Testatrix’s estate and that a judicious parent would share her estate amongst them.
This case underscores the legal and moral constraints that can affect the binding nature of one’s Last Will and Testament. If you have been disinherited and suspect that the decision was made by way of undue influence, mental incapacity, or believe there are moral reasons why you should still be entitled to a portion of an estate, contact us to review your rights.