2017 Harvest

2017 Harvest

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Cape Breton farm awarded to estate of son who came back from Ontario to help parents

Vinnie MacRae was one of eight siblings born to Dan Joe and Sadie MacRae in Cape Breton.  In the early 1970's, Dan Joe became ill with cancer and asked his son Vinnie to return from Windsor, Ontario, where Vinnie was working at a Chrysler plant.  Vinnie was about to be married.  He asked his other siblings if one of them would go, but no one else wanted to return.  So Vinnie and his soon to be wife, Theresa, moved back. 

Dan Joe died in 1975 and his entire estate went to his wife, Sadie.  Over the next 27 years, Vinnie and Theresa lived on and worked the farm, raising 4 children of their own.  Sadie lived with them.  Sadie fully expected that Vinnie would outlive her.  Therefore, in order to deal with the farm property, she became a joint tenant with Vinnie, so that when she died the property would go to Vinnie.  Unfortunately, Vinnie died in 2002, the year before Sadie's death.  Because they were joint tenants, the property vested entirely in Sadie's estate, meaning that the farm would likely be divided amongst all of the children of Dan Joe and Sadie (Sadie did not have a will). 

Theresa, Vinnie's widow, made a claim against Sadie's estate, arguing that there was a resulting trust in favour of her husband's estate.  Sadie had intended for the farm to go to him, and he and his wife had earned the farm through their work and dedication over the past 27 years.  The court agreed, finding that it would be unjust and contrary to Sadie's intention to deprive Vinnie's estate of full ownership of the farm.

Read the decision at: Re MacRae Estate.