If a deceased parent's neglect or mistreatment of a disinherited child is found to be to blame for the child's lack of progress in life and their diminished financial circumstances, what is the state of the law?

British Columbia, Canada


The following excerpt is from Persall v. Stromberg, 2015 BCSC 1826 (CanLII):

Further, even if proven, the law would not support an award to the plaintiffs in their circumstances. If a judge does find a link between a deceased parent’s neglect or mistreatment of a disinherited child and the child’s lack of progress in life and their current diminished financial circumstances, it may make an award if a judicious parent, after objective reflection, would recognize a moral obligation to make amends for neglect or mistreatment through the provisions of their will: Doucette v. McInnes, 2009 BCCA 393 [Doucette].

Generally, where an adult child complains of an unhappy relationship with or neglect of the parent, the summary of the cases between p. 19-50 and 19-51 of the Practice Manual, indicate a range of responses determined by the circumstances in the case. In Gray v. Nantel, 2002 BCCA 94 [Gray], the court found that the will-maker’s neglect of a child may be relevant in determining whether a moral duty is owed to the child.

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