Warring Trustees: More Isn’t Always Better

by: , April 13, 2015

Two recent court cases look at the perils of choosing multiple estate trustees and attorneys for property.  Often a testator will choose two or more of their children to act as co-estate trustees.   They may feel that it would offend one of their children to not appoint them as an estate trustee or that…read more

What Happens to the Residue of a Trust when a Gift Over Fails?

by: , February 17, 2015

In a recent Ontario case, the Applicant, a beneficiary of a testamentary trust, sought an order declaring that the gift over of the trust was voided for uncertainty.  He also sought an order that the entire trust be paid out to him immediately.  The estate trustee took the position that the gift over clause was…read more

Passing of Accounts: Adjusting An Estate Trustee’s Compensation

by: , January 5, 2015

In a recent passing of accounts case, the court reduced the estate trustee’s compensation for the following reasons: – No compensation should be charged on investment losses listed as capital disbursements; – The costs connected to the sale of real property (real estate commission, property taxes, and legal fees) are not to be included when…read more

Alcoholism Alone Not Enough to Negate Testamentary Capacity

by: , November 17, 2014

In daBalinhard, the Saskatchewan Court found that a history of alcoholism, short term memory loss and unusual behavior was not enough to sustain a will challenge. After a forty-year marriage, the testator, John, and his wife, Shirley, separated on August 16, 2011.  Two months after their separation, John executed a new will on October 20,…read more

Calculating Dependant’s Support – A View from the Divisional Court

by: , October 3, 2014

The background in Quinn vs Carrigan is well known to estate and family law litigators as the parties have been involved in extensive litigation, including two trials and two appeals.  The first trial and its subsequent appeal, which focused on the issue of who is a “spouse” pursuant to the Pension Benefits Act, led to…read more

Congratulations – It’s A Girl!

by: , August 21, 2014

A  new study reported on this week found that daughters are significantly more helpful than sons when it comes to taking care of their elderly parents. Referencing data found from surveying 26,000 Americans, it seems that daughters spend on average 12.3 hours a month looking after an elderly parent versus sons who spend on average 5.6 hours…read more

Trust Created in Holograph Will Fails

by: , July 17, 2014

A recent Court of Appeal decision from Alberta dealt with the interpretation of a holograph will.  The Court of Appeal upheld a lower court’s decision that the testator intended to create a trust but the trust failed since the objects of the trust were uncertain resulting in an intestacy.  The case serves as a good reminder that…read more

An Unwelcome Guest – Guardian of Property Obtains a Writ of Possession

by: , May 27, 2014

In 1998, Ms. Tollis was declared incapable of managing her property.  In the same year, the Public Guardian and Trustee (the “PGT”) became her statutory guardian of property.  Ms. Tollis held an interest in a house along with her brother, Mr. Tollis.  The interest in the house was Ms. Tollis’ primary financial asset. Shortly before…read more

Mickey Rooney’s Estate and Shedding Light on Financial Elder Abuse

by: , April 15, 2014

It is not surprising that Mickey Rooney’s estate may become embroiled in litigation.  Mr. Rooney was married nine times; he was survived by a number of children and stepchildren, and was estranged from his current wife at the time of his death.  Such full lives often lead to complicated estates. More troubling was that shortly…read more

B.C Estate Trustee Ordered to Pay Back Estate Funds

by: , February 28, 2014

Estate Trustees are often under pressure to distribute estate funds to beneficiaries as soon as possible.  Beneficiaries may express frustration about having to wait for an estate trustee to receive a tax clearance certificate or respond to other administrative issues, such as collecting assets.  When probate has not been granted to an estate trustee because…read more