Rectifying a Will, and the Olympics
As I write this, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics are in full swing. Congratulations to all Canadian athletes competing.
This week’s blog is on rectification of a will. It also has an Olympic connection.
As reported in Jamt Estate (Re), Egil Ruud Jamt died in Vancouver, B.C. on August 16, 2016. He died leaving a will dated February 14, 2012. The will, prepared by a lawyer, named the deceased’s “nephew, Per Kare Jamt” as sole beneficiary of his estate.
The problem was that the deceased did not have a “nephew” by the name of “Per Kare Jamt”. He did, however, have a nephew by the name of “Per Martin Jamt”. Per Martin Jamt applied to rectify the will so that he was the beneficiary. The application was not opposed by any of the deceased’s intestate beneficiaries.
The court allowed the rectification. In doing so, the court considered the rectification provisions of B.C.’s Wills, Estates and Succession Act, which allows the court to rectify a will where the court determines that the will fails to carry out the will-maker’s intentions because of:
- an error arising from an accidental slip or omission;
- a misunderstanding of the will-maker’s instructions; or
- a failure to carry out the will-maker’s instructions.
The court found that the deceased made an “accidental slip” in confusing his nephew’s middle name with the middle name of his predeceased brother. In finding that Per Martin Jamt was the correct beneficiary, the court considered the following:
- The deceased had many nephews, but only one with the name “Per”;
- “Per Kare”, named in the will, was the deceased’s brother, and predeceased the deceased;
- The deceased told the drafting lawyer that he wanted to benefit his brother’s youngest son: Per Martin Jamt fit this description;
- The deceased told the drafting lawyer that his nephew was about 60 years old. Per Martin Jamt was about 60 years old;
- The deceased provided in his will that if Per Kare Jamt was to predecease, Per Kare Jamt’s two children should have the estate. Per Martin Jamt had two children;
- The deceased provided the drafting lawyer with a telephone number for the named beneficiary. This telephone number matched Per Martin Jamt’s telephone number;
- The deceased provided the drafting lawyer with an address for the named beneficiary. This address matched Per Martin Jamt’s address;
and, now for the Olympic connection,
- The deceased told the drafting solicitor that he had recently seen his nephew in Vancouver in 2010 in connection with the Vancouver Winter Olympics. Per Martin Jamt visited the deceased in Vancouver in 2010 in connection with the Vancouver Winter Olympics!
(I admit: the Olympic connection was a weak one, but nonetheless.)
The court had no difficulty in concluding that the intended beneficiary was Per Martin Jamt.
Thanks for reading.