Polly Storey Published in Westlaw’s Estates, Trusts & Pensions Journal


Clark Wilson’s Estates & Trusts partner and co-chair of the Estates & Trusts Opinion and Appeals group Polly Storey’s paper, “Beneficiary’s Access to Trust Documents” has just been published in WestLaw’s Estates, Trusts & Pensions Journal.

The question of a beneficiary’s access to trust documents has challenged courts and practitioners for decades. In Barbieri Estate v. White, 2023 BCSC 1176, a recent decision from the Supreme Court of British Columbia, Justice Blake had an opportunity to review, in unique circumstances, the different legal theories that have grounded a beneficiary’s access to trust documents.

In this piece, Polly summarizes Barbieri v. White, a contentious case in which three siblings battled over their late mother’s estate. One of the children became the sole executor of the estate and started an action against his siblings about the disclosure of “privileged documents” which centred on his wishes to keep payments made to his lawyers confidential, despite being paid for by the proceeds of the mother’s estate.

While lawyer-client privilege generally protects these documents, it is not consistent across all areas of law, including estate matters. Here, Polly dives into the three historical legal theories on the entitlement of beneficiaries to information and how they were applied in this landmark decision.

WestLaw subscribers can read “Beneficiary’s Access to Trust Documents” in the Estates, Trusts & Pensions Journal HERE.