The PGT and the Case of the Missing Estate Trustee

by: , November 28, 2016

While a will offers a way to ensure your assets pass to your chosen beneficiaries on death, not everyone dies with a will. When this happens, the Succession Law Reform Act (Part II) sets out who are the beneficiaries of the estate, while the Estates Act (section 29) ranks in order of priority who may…read more

Happy 65th Birthday from the Canadian Government

by: , May 26, 2015

Canadians can rejoice at turning 65 – you are now eligible for the government benefits offered to seniors. In order to spend more time eating cake and less time searching for the benefits that apply to you, provincial and federal benefits are listed in one convenient website. The list briefly summarizes the different benefits available,…read more

Insolvent and Bankrupt Estates

by: , May 26, 2015

Estate trustees and beneficiaries often focus on the positive – the many and varied assets of an estate which will soon be distributed to the beneficiaries. It is only after the estate administration is underway that the full financial picture emerges – an estate that appeared flush may actually have more debts than there are…read more

Mandatory Mediation – A Binding Success

by: , April 29, 2015

In 1999, a pilot program was implemented in Toronto requiring mandatory mediation for all estates, trusts, and substitute decisions matters.  In 2002, mandatory mediation was expanded to Windsor and Ottawa.  The pilot program was considered a success and mandatory mediation has been enshrined in rule 75.1 of the Rules of Civil Procedure (see the Ministry…read more

Marriage Contracts and Nursing Care

by: , April 21, 2015

Caring for your aging spouse may be difficult and stressful without a support network. When the “healthy” spouse is too old and fragile to provide care, additional support or alternate accommodations for the ailing spouse must be found. Unfortunately, when one 80-year old wife made it clear to her children and step-children that she was…read more

Gifting Your House to Your Caregiver

by: , March 5, 2015

It is not uncommon for an aging parent to want to give an extra benefit to the child who is looking after her. However, where this means favouring one child over another, litigation is often not far behind. Such was the case of Donis v Georgopoulous. In the well-written reasons of Justice Firestone, the court…read more

Waiver of Solicitor-Client Privilege

by: , January 22, 2015

It is a well-recognized principle of law that communications between a client and his lawyer are privileged and remain private and confidential even after death. Only the client can choose to waive privilege and allow the communications to become public. Waiver can be either explicit or implicit. One well known example of implicit waiver of…read more

Can You Give A Cottage Back?

by: , December 3, 2014

It is common to find a provision in a will which allows the estate trustee to distribute assets in specie – meaning instead of selling all the estate assets and dividing the proceeds between the beneficiaries, the estate trustee may transfer the assets directly to the beneficiaries as payment in kind. Giving the estate trustee…read more

Being Removed or Renouncing as Estate Trustee?

by: and , November 4, 2014

Although they sound similar, there are important procedural differences between “removing” an estate trustee and “renouncing” the right to act as an estate trustee. Where the named estate trustee has not yet begun acting in her role as estate trustee (i.e. she has not yet undertaken any work administering the estate), she may “resign” or…read more

Beneficiaries Left Paying for Estate Trustee’s Mortgage

by: and , October 24, 2014

Can an estate trustee’s ability to mortgage an estate property be limited by s. 9 of the Estates Administration Act? This was the question recently addressed by the court in Di Michele v. Di Michele. Section 9 of the Estates Administration Act allows for real property to automatically vest in the beneficiaries of an estate…read more