British Columbia

Battle of will: Local family fights over $57M estate

A complex legal fight is brewing over the $57 million estate of Vancouver developer and investor William Frederick Lougheed, pitting some of his children — biological and adopted — against his third wife.

2 civil claims have been made against the estate of Lougheed Mall developer William Lougheed

A battle is brewing over the multi-million dollar estate of wealthy Vancouver developer William Lougheed. (Supplied)

A complex legal fight is brewing over the estimated $57 million estate of Vancouver developer and investor William Frederick Lougheed, pitting some of his children — biological and adopted — against his third wife, Balwinder Kaur Brar Lougheed, who is the sole beneficiary and executor of his will.

Michael William Lougheed, Laura Ann Carver and Lynda Carrie Lougheed filed a notice of civil claim in B.C. Supreme Court, Feb. 7.  All three are adult children from Lougheed's first marriage and were not named in his will. 

The claim says that Michael and Laura suffered physical, emotional and other abuse at the hand of their father when they were children. It also says Lynda became permanently estranged from her father when she confronted him about the abuse.

The claim also alleges their father made "fraudulent transfers and gifts" of his entire estate to Balwinder Lougheed before he died to prevent them from ever receiving any money or assets. 

According to the claim, the transfers include shares in William Lougheed's company, Norbill Investments, worth over $50 million and a $7 million property in Madeira Park on the Sunshine Coast.

Google Earth view of the Madeira Park property that is part of the William Lougheed estate. (Google Earth)

The children are seeking damages and a variance to the will because, "The deceased provide no valid or rational reasons for failing to provide for the plaintiffs."

According to the claim, William Lougheed married Balwinder in or around 2008. He died in January of 2016 at age 88. 

Lougheed graduated from Kitsilano High School in the 1940s and was involved in the development of the Lougheed Mall on the Coquitlam-Burnaby border and the nearby apartments and condominiums known as Lougheed Village, as well as many other projects.

William Lougheed was previously sued by his biological children in the late 1980s. In that claim, the children were seeking to gain their inheritance as soon as possible. The case was settled out of court.

None of the allegations in this claim has been proven in court and it is expected the defendants will be filing a response. 

Adopted daughter launches suit

In a separate action also dated Feb. 7, Kelly Janine Wilson and her company, Apple Orchard RV Ltd., filed a claim against Balwinder Lougheed and William Lougheed's estate.

Wilson was legally adopted by William Lougheed when her biological mother, Norma, became his second wife. 

Kelly Wilson was also left out of William Lougheed's will.

In 2011, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Balance awarded Wilson $5.5 million after Wilson took legal action against William Lougheed and her mother's estate. Norma Lougheed died in 2007.

In her most recent claim, Wilson alleges William Lougheed was behind a number of financial improprieties while he was acting as an investor for her company.

Wilson also claims that William Lougheed maliciously divulged private information pertaining to her and her husband, Blair Wilson, with the "intent of harming the plaintiffs." 

Blair Wilson was the MP for West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country from 2006 to 2008.

Blair Wilson was elected MP for West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country in 2006 but saw his life in politics begin to unravel when an article entitled "Family Exposes MPs Trail of Debt" was published in the Vancouver Province in October of 2007.

In the story, William Lougheed is quoted a number of times and describes his son-in-law as unfit for office.

Blair Wilson resigned from the Liberal Party caucus to sit as an independent the day after the Province article was published. He unsuccessfully ran for re-election as a member of the Green Party in 2008.

Blair Wilson is currently suing a number of parties for defamation, including his now deceased father-in-law.

The claim by Kelly Wilson against Balwinder Lougheed and William Lougheed's estate asks for damages, restitution and a variance to the will for not making "adequate provision for the proper maintenance and support of Kelly."

None of the allegations has been proven in court and it is expected the defendants will be filing a response.