I recently wrote a case comment on a recent will challenge case out of BC called Moore v. Drummond (See Make Sure Mom knows when you visit)
I recently received an email from one of the witnesses in that case who wrote as follows:
“Dear Mr. Charles Ticker,
I am referring to your above mentioned article. You are questioning the judges (sic) ruling in regards to the issue: Had Mrs. Drummond testamentary capacity?
I was a witness at the trial and had known Mrs Drummond for more than 15 years. As Mr and Mrs Moore I was a neighbor helping the good lady for many years with simple chores like snow plowing, lawn moving, gutter and window cleaning etc.
During countless conversations Mrs. Drummond mentioned her son. Never in a good way. The relationship was full of bitterness, regret and frustration.
The last 5 months of her life Mrs Drummond was in the hospital. During the last month, Bruce Drummond was informed many times that his mothers time is very limited and he NEVER, NOT ONCE came to visit or say his good-byes. He lives 6 hours away (by car) and he is retired.
Over the 15 years he visited a maximum of 5 times.
Mrs and Mr Moore took care of Mrs Drummond in the final stages of her life, treated her with dignity and respect right to the end. They did this out of the goodness of their heart. Mrs. Drummond offered them payment for their daily ‘services’ many a times and they always refused.
In my opinion, the question had Mrs Drummond testamentary capacity was not relevant.
I am aware that this was the legal issue, but The Honourable Mr. Justice N. Smith had the wisdom and experience to see the overwhelming evidence that the relationship between Mrs Drummond and her son was not a loving one, to put in mildly and that her ‘will’ to give her modest estate to the people who deserved it, was not made in a ‘delusional’ stage of mind on a dreary afternoon, but was the result of decades of reality in Mrs Drummond’s life.
Your article suggests that the ruling will have lawyers scratching their heads… It shouldn’t. Because the ruling reflects the facts and is based on common sense.
For me this ruling renews the confidence I have in our legal system.
Not all of these facts were published in the reported Court decision, in particular, the fact that the son who was challenging the will did not visit his Mom while she was in the hospital for the last 5 months of her life.
I still maintain that the learned trial judge applied the wrong legal test for testamentary capacity. And I , of course, do not agree with Mr. Alles’ opinion that “testamentary capacity was not relevant”.
On the other hand, justice may have been done, although the decision brings to mind the saying the “hard cases make bad law”.
As Paul Harvey , the famed radio broadcaster used to say: “Now, youknow the rest of the story”.