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

See all articles by Jane Thomson

Jane Thomson

University of New Brunswick, Faculty of Law

Date Written: November 30, 2020

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Thomson, Jane, Disinheritance, Discrimination and the Case for Including Adult Independent Children in Dependants’ Relief Schemes: Lawen Estate v Nova Scotia (November 30, 2020). Forthcoming (2021) 44:2 Dal LJ , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3740065 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3740065

Jane Thomson (Contact Author)

University of New Brunswick, Faculty of Law ( email )

Bailey Drive
P.O. Box 4400
Fredericton NB E3B 5A3, New Brunswick E3B 5A3
Canada

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