Nova Scotia

Court decides woman's estate goes to archives

The estate of Roberta Jollimore will go to the Public Archives of Nova Scotia and not to family members because of the way the will was written, the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia has ruled.

The estate of Roberta Jollimore will go to the Public Archives of Nova Scotia and not to family members because of the way the will was written, the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia has ruled.

Roberta Jollimore's will stated that she would leave her entire estate to her only son, Gregory Ross Jollimore. But, if he died before her, the gift would go to the Public Archives of Nova Scotia.

On May 22, 2008, Gregory Jollimore's co-worker called police after he had not been to work in about a week.

When police investigated, they found Roberta Jollimore had been strangled in her Willow Street home that she shared with her son.

The 75-year-old — who suffered from Parkinson's disease —  was lying on the basement floor, her head was resting on a Bible and a shrine of stuffed animals surrounded her.

Police then found Gregory Jollimore, 52, dead in another room. He had died from suffocation. 

The fight in court was over the details of Roberta Jollimore's will which specifically said that her son had to predecease her in order for the archives to get her estate.

Relatives argued that because the son clearly died after his mother, not before her, the archives had no legitimate claim on the estate.

In a written ruling released on Wednesday, Justice Richard Couglan said because the wording of the will was so specific, he had to decide Jollimore's subjective intent.

"Mrs. Jollimore's intention was straightforward — if Gregory Jollimore did not receive her estate, it was to go to the public archives. No other parties were mentioned," he wrote in his decision.

The estate includes a home valued at nearly $300,000.

A representative for the archives said at the moment they do not know what else is included in the estate, or what expenses and obligations are assessed against it.

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