Judge rejects man’s ‘racist will’ that disinherits daughter for having ‘bastard white son’
A judge made legal history by overturning a man’s will for its overtly racist stipulations.
In the will, Rector Emanuel Spence disinherited his closest daughter, instead leaving $400,000 to a daughter he hardly knew in the UK.
“Verolin’s relationship with her father came to a dramatic end. She told her father that she was pregnant and that the father of her child was white. Her father exclaimed that he was ashamed of Verolin and from that point onwards, the deceased restricted his communication with her … He would not allow a white man’s child in his house,” the judge said in the ruling.
Spence refused all contact with his grandson, referring to him only as his daughter’s “bastard white son.”
On Tuesday, the judge wrote: “It is clear and uncontradicted, in my view, that the reason for disinheriting Verolin, as articulated by the deceased, was one based on a clearly stated racist principle. Does it offend public policy that the deceased’s other daughter, Donna, should receive the entire estate simply because her children were fathered by a black man? That, in my view, offends not only human sensibilities but also public policy.”
Although there are other cases of wills being overturned when they conflict with public policy, some are worried about the precedent this judge is setting.
“We’re imposing our personal feelings and emotions and morals on other peoples’ decisions and that’s where people aren’t comfortable,” said Suzana Popovic-Montag, a managing partner at Hull & Hull LLP in Toronto.