The Act of Factum Writing

by: and , May 11, 2018

The importance of a factum in litigation cannot be overstated. A factum is a party’s written submissions to the court. The factum summarize the facts of the case, the issues in dispute, and the law being relied upon (with the addition of “overview” and “relief sought” sections at the beginning and end of the factum,…read more

A Touch of Modernity

by: , May 11, 2018

In its costs decision for Campbell v. Evert (previously blogged about here), the Ontario Superior Court of Justice further distilled the rationale and policy reasons informing the “modern approach” to fixing costs in estate litigation. Background As frequent readers of this blog may recall, Dr. Ewert (the “Deceased”) passed away in 2011. She left behind…read more

The 6ix or the 226? That is the Question

by: , April 20, 2018

Where does one commence a legal proceeding? When can one transfer a proceeding to one’s own hometown? These are simple enough questions, but with answers that may surprise you. The recent Ontario Superior Court of Justice decision of Estate of Byung Sun Im, deceased, 2018 ONSC 2223, set out the answers clearly. Background Byung Sun…read more

But Everything’s Depending on the Way the Wind May Blow [1]

by: , April 2, 2018

Can an estate trustee move to strike a beneficiary’s Notice of Objection to Accounts in the face of their Application to Pass Accounts, based on any of the Limitations Act, 2002, and/or laches and acquiescence? This was the discreet, though important, issue considered by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Wall Estate, 2018 ONSC…read more

The Utility (or lack thereof) of Extrinsic Evidence when Interpreting a Will

by: , February 9, 2018

Can one rely on extrinsic evidence (i.e. evidence that relates to a will but is not contained in it) to establish the intentions of a testator? This was a question recently considered by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Campbell v. Evert [1]. Background Dr. Ewert had two children, Monica and Peter. Dr. Ewert…read more

I Hate to be a Suspicious Aloysius on You – but Did the Deceased Have Testamentary Capacity?

by: , January 26, 2018

A recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision (Stekar v. Wilcox[1]) reinforces what is required to prove well-established grounds for challenging a will: suspicious circumstance and testamentary capacity. Background Jerald P. McNamara (the “Deceased”) died on June 18, 2012. His friend of over 40 years, Thomas, stood to inherit his entire estate under the terms of…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