November 23, 2020  

On November 17, Bill Young filed a notice of discontinuance on the matter of Jackson Estate v. Young, as he was unable to cover the costs associated with the appeal process. LEAF had been granted leave to intervene in this case at the Court of Appeal for Nova Scotia in September 2020.  

The issue in this appeal was whether a common-law spouse is entitled to any part of their spouse’s estate when that spouse dies intestate (without a will). LEAF would have argued how limiting the applicability of legislation governing intestate succession only to married spouses has an adverse impact on women’s socioeconomic equality.  

The discontinuance of this appeal means that the lower court decision, upholding the limit in the province’s intestate succession legislation to married spouses, will go unchallenged.  It unfortunately underscores the very real barriers to access to justice that exist for those with limited means. 

LEAF will continue to advocate for socioeconomic gender equality rights through law reform efforts and relevant intervention opportunities in future cases.  

Case Committee and Counsel  

LEAF is grateful to Kelly McMillan and Nasha Nijhawan, who acted as counsel for LEAF in the leave application process.  

LEAF’s interventions are all guided, informed and supported by a case committee composed of academics and practitioners with expertise in the relevant issues. The case committee members for this intervention were (in alphabetical order): Clare Burns, Jodi Lazare, Robert Leckey and Martha McCarthy. LEAF gratefully acknowledges their contributions to the leave application. 

The LEAF staff who contributed to the case are Megan Stephens, Rosel Kim and Nicole Biros-Bolton.  

About Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) 

The Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) works to advance the substantive equality rights of women and girls through litigation, law reform, and public education. Since 1985, we have intervened in landmark cases that have advanced equality in Canada—helping to prevent violence, eliminate discrimination in the workplace, provide better maternity benefits, ensure a right to pay equity, and allow access to reproductive freedoms. 

To support our work to protect the equality rights of women and girls, please consider donating today.   

For media inquiries, contact: 

Kelly McMillan, Partner 
Nijhawan McMillan Petrunia 
T: 902 407 2406 
E: [email protected] 

Rosel Kim, Staff Lawyer 
Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) 
E: [email protected]