Langille Estate, Re, (1987) 83 N.S.R.(2d) 320 (ProbCt)

Judge:MacDonnell, J.
Court:Nova Scotia Probate Court
Case Date:November 10, 1987
Jurisdiction:Nova Scotia
Citations:(1987), 83 N.S.R.(2d) 320 (ProbCt)
 
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Langille Estate, Re (1987), 83 N.S.R.(2d) 320 (ProbCt);

    210 A.P.R. 320

MLB headnote and full text

In The Matter Of: The Estate of Collie Langille, deceased, and the attested claim of the Municipality of the County of Pictou

Indexed As: Langille Estate, Re

Nova Scotia Probate Court

MacDonnell, J.

November 10, 1987.

Summary:

Helen Langille had been receiving social assistance and was under the care of the municipality in a series of "homes" since 1971. Her husband died in 1985. No claim for contribution for her support had been made against the husband by the municipality.

The municipality now claimed $56,218.33 from the husband's estate.

The Nova Scotia Probate Court dismissed the action. The court held that it was unjust that the husband could avoid his common law duty to support his wife because the municipality failed to take the proper steps under the Social Assistance Act to recover contributions from him during his lifetime, but the Act did not provide for a claim against the estate of a person required to contribute during his lifetime, therefore the municipality had forfeited any right to contribution against the husband directly.

Social Assistance - Topic 2006

Subrogation - Claims against estate of deceased spouse of assistance recipient - Helen Langille had been receiving social assistance and was under the care of the municipality in a series of "homes" since 1971 - Her husband died in 1985 - No claim for contribution for her support had been made against the husband by the municipality - The municipality now claimed $56,218.33 from the husband's estate - The Nova Scotia Probate Court dismissed the action - The court held that it was unjust that the husband could avoid his common law duty to support his wife because the municipality failed to take the proper steps under the Social Assistance Act to recover contributions from him during his lifetime, but the Act did not provide for a claim against the estate of a person required to contribute during his lifetime, therefore the municipality had forfeited any right to contribution against the husband directly.

Cases Noticed:

Cumberland County v. Kings County (1986), 71 N.S.R.(2d) 397; 171 A.P.R. 397, dist. [para. 8].

Halifax County v. Purcell and Purcell Estate (1986), 72 N.S.R.(2d) 157; 173 A.P.R. 157, dist. [para. 8].

Statutes Noticed:

Social Assistance Act, S.N.S. 1970, c. 16, sect. 23, sect. 25 [para. 12]; sect. 29(1), sect. 30 [para. 11]; sect. 31 [para. 15].

Testators Family Maintenance Act, R.S.N.S. 1967, c. 303, generally [para. 6].

Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1970, c. C-34, sect. 197 [para. 6].

Family Maintenance Act, S.N.S. 1980, c. 6, generally [para. 6].

Probate Act, R.S.N.S. 1967, c. 225, sect. 42 [para. 7].

Counsel:

Keith Roddam, Q.C., for the estate of Collie Langille;

T.E. Margeson, Q.C., for the Municipality of the County of Pictou.

This action was heard before MacDonnell, J., of the Nova Scotia Court of Probate, who delivered the following judgment on November 10, 1987.

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