Updates from All About Estates December 2017

by: , December 6, 2017

Curtailing Frivolous Will Changes Written by Rebecca Studin Estate litigators would be wise to sharpen their skills and revisit what it means to launch a will challenge when confronted with only the flimsiest of evidence. Continue Reading . . .   You Can’t Gift What You Don’t Have Written By Jacob Kaufman  While Mary had more than…read more

A Brief Review of Solicitor’s Negligence

by: , August 23, 2017

Claims against solicitors for negligence often arise in the context of estates cases, whether it be the failure of a lawyer to ensure that a testator’s wishes are accurately reflected in his/her will, to neglecting to confirm the testator had the requisite capacity and was not subject to undue influence in executing his/her last will….read more

The Benefits of Comprehensive Releases

by: , July 24, 2017

When combatants settle a lawsuit, they often exchange mutual releases – that is, they release each other from all and any possible claims arising out of the issues raised in the litigation. However, releases can be the bane of a lawyer’s existence when it comes to getting the words just right. Clients don’t think they…read more

No Undue Influence, Says Court of Appeal

by: , July 18, 2017

Rita and her late husband Frank built a successful business together in the course of their lengthy marriage. Unfortunately, there is a struggle between Rita’s twin sons (both named Jean) over who should act as their mother’s attorney for property, devastating both the family’s finances and relationship. The Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal of…read more

Born Out of Wedlock, Still Out of Luck

by: , May 8, 2017

Should someone be excluded from inheriting from an estate simply because they were born out wedlock? With “a good deal of regret”, Justice Gray of the Superior Court of Justice concluded in Koziarski v. Sullivan that the answer was “yes”… with respect to wills made before March 31, 1978. Jadwiga Koziarski died on February 15, 2016…read more

Unjust Enrichment and Mutual Benefits

by: , March 31, 2017

Unjust enrichment is when one person is “enriched” at the expense of another’s monetary contributions or efforts otherwise without a legal reason.  Determining whether one party was unjustly enriched can be complicated where the parties mutually benefit from each other’s assets or actions.  In its recent decision of Granger v Granger, the Ontario Court of…read more

Rectification of Wills Unchanged By Supreme Court

by: , January 10, 2017

In Canada (Attorney General) v. Fairmont Hotels Inc., 2016 SCC 56 (and its Quebec civil code counterpart Jean Coutu Group (PJC) Inc. v. Canada (Attorney General), 2016 SCC 55), the Supreme Court of Canada shook up the tax world by limiting the availability of rectification to prevent unwanted tax consequences. These decisions will undoubtedly have…read more

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

Baby boomers set to receive the largest intergenerational wealth transfer in Canadian history

by: , June 15, 2016

A new report this month by CIBC Capital Markets estimates that Canadians between the ages of 50 and 75 will receive a record $750 billion in inheritance in the next decade. They’ll receive it thanks to the growing number of Canadians over the age of 75 – the cohort has been calculated at just over…read more

A Failure to Compensate: What is a Quantum Meruit Claim and How Can It Be Proven in Court?

by: , June 7, 2016

A claim in quantum meruit is sometimes made in the estates litigation context by a disappointed beneficiary. The words quantum meruit literally mean “as much as deserved.” The claimant argues that he or she deserved compensation from the deceased for work that was done but was not properly compensated for under the deceased’s will. In…read more