Case: Pedrozo v Hope, 2020 BCSC 1578
On October 27, 2020, the Honourable Mr. Justice Baird of the British Columbia Supreme Court issued a judgement in a case involving a separation agreement with a life insurance term. The separation agreement required the father to have life insurance with the mother as the sole and irrevocable beneficiary for so long as the father was obligated to pay spousal and child support.
The father failed to designate the mother as the sole and irrevocable beneficiary, rather he named both the mother and the child as joint revocable beneficiaries. The father later removed the mother and child as beneficiaries all together and substituted his two older children as the beneficiaries to his life insurance.
The father then died unexpectedly. At the date of his death, he was still obligated to pay both spousal and child support and therefore was bound by the separation agreement to have life insurance payable to the mother.
The court found that the separation agreement had clear, strong language that demonstrated the parties’ intentions for the mother and child to be adequately looked after in the event the father died while he was still bound to pay support for either of them.
Ultimately, the Mr. Justice Baird concluded that the father was contractually bound by the separation agreement and awarded the mother with the full amount that she would have received had the father complied with the separation agreement. This amount formed a charge upon the father’s estate.
Read the full decision here.
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