Disinheritance, Discrimination and the Case for Including Adult Independent Children in Dependants’ Relief Schemes: Lawen Estate v Nova Scotia
Forthcoming (2021) 44:2 Dal LJ
28 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2021 Last revised: 17 Feb 2021
Date Written: November 30, 2020
In 2019 a Superior Court in Nova Scotia struck out adult independent children as dependants under Nova Scotia's Testator's Family Maintenance Act. The decision was based on a finding that testamentary autonomy was a constitutional right protected by s.7 of Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This paper demonstrates why the constitutional decision in Lawen Estate v. Nova Scotia is flawed. It also explains why including adult independent children in dependants' relief schemes is not only benign in most instances, but may play a role in preventing the perpetuation of discrimination in the private law.
Keywords: Estate Law, Dependants' Relief, Charter Values, Discrimination, Private Law, Constitutional Law
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