09/27/2013 18:52 EDT | Updated 11/27/2013 05:12 EST

Mother's will that excluded son overturned by B.C. court

A Smithers woman’s will, which left her modest estate entirely to her neighbours and excluded her son, has been overturned by a B.C. Supreme Court justice.

Dee Drummond was 98 when she died in January 2011.

Her son, Bruce, had been the sole beneficiary under an earlier will. But a year before her death, Drummond made a new one.

The new will excluded her son and left her estate and bank accounts — worth about $155,000 — to her neighbours in Smithers.

Drummond had apparently grown close with the people next door and alleged her son, a retired logger, never came to visit and didn’t need the money.

But Justice Nathan Smith disagreed, finding Bruce did visit from time-to-time and lived on a small pension in Quesnel with no savings or investments.

Bruce testified in court that his mother was bitter that her pregnancy with him had forced her into an unhappy marriage. He also alleged his mother often referred to him as a "bastard."

The court ruled that while Drummond had no legal obligation, she had a moral obligation to leave money for her son.

Smith ruled that Drummond's estate and bank accounts should be divided equally between her neighbours and her son.