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Ontario judges are also empowered to void wills that offend public policy, but it was the Court of Appeal’s landmark decision not to intervene in the case of Spence v BMO Trust Company that reinforced the strength of testamentary freedom in the province, said Marly Peikes, a partner with O’Sullivan Estate Lawyers in Toronto.

“When you get into public policy questions, it gets messy,” she said. “But I’m not sure it’s the court’s role to go digging through the layers of a person’s decision to disinherit a child.”