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

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

When is an expert witness not an expert witness?

by: , April 2, 2015

In Westerhof v. Gee Estate, 2015 ONCA 206, the Court of Appeal for Ontario heard appeals from Westerhof v. Gee Estate and McCallum v. Baker, two car crash cases which explored the nature of expert witnesses. The Court of Appeal concluded that witnesses with special expertise who give opinion evidence not formed for the purposes…read more

Unregistered Transfer of Property Can Be Valid

by: and , March 25, 2015

A recent decision in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice held that a deed of transfer of land can still be valid even if the deed wasn’t registered until after the transferor died. In the case, Sproul Estate v. Sproul, the testatrix, Ann Sproul, had purchased a house in 1989 with her husband, Leonard, together…read more

Physician-Assisted Suicide and the Right to Die

by: , March 19, 2015

Could Canadians one day be able to make a power of attorney that authorizes their death? In a Charter decision that may already rank among its most significant, the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously struck down the criminal offences that prohibit aiding or abetting a person to commit suicide this past month. The ruling, in…read more

Corroborative Evidence of Deceased’s Actions

by: , March 16, 2015

In P.M. v. Evangelista 2015 ONSC 1419 (CanLII), the court grappled with the requirement of corroboration in sexual assault claims where the defendant had died during the course of the litigation. P.M. claimed damages against the defendant Livia Evangelista, who was the administrator of the Estate of Luigi Evangelista, for sexual assaults, threatening, and harassment….read more

Ontario Has Jurisdiction Over Invalid Italian Will

by: , March 11, 2015

Antonina’s father died during his vacation to Italy. She and her two siblings then received a purported handwritten will made just before his death which named their cousin Anna as a beneficiary. In Re Estate of Domenico Grillo, 2015 ONSC 1352, Justice Newbould found Ontario had jurisdiction over Antonina’s application to set aside this holograph…read more

How Far Can A Lawyer Go in Defending His Client?

by: , March 9, 2015

The latest ruling by the Divisional Court makes clear that a lawyer’s conduct in court is not beyond reproach In Groia v Law Society of Upper Canada, Justice Nordheimer of the Superior Court of Justice’s Divisional Court issued the latest ruling in a long-running legal saga that has become infamous for its questions of balancing…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

Tort of Conspiracy in Estate Litigation

by: , March 3, 2015

Conspiracy has been something of a hot topic in civil litigation in recent years. While a wide range of activities have been used as the basis for a claim in conspiracy, it is not frequently seen in the estate litigation context. That may change, however, as the tort continues to  be adapted and modified by…read more