Legal Papers

Reigning In Frivolous Will Challenges

by: and , October 13, 2017

In Seepa v. Seepa, Justice Myers declined to grant a consent order for directions in a will challenge case, and instead required the parties to argue the issue on the merits. In order to obtain disclosure and procedural rights in such cases, Justice Myers indicated that bald allegations of lack of testamentary capacity and undue…read more

Recent Estate Cases that made a Difference and Why you Should Care

by: , November 16, 2016

2016 saw the release of numerous interesting and important estates and trusts decisions. Justin de Vries and Joanna Lindenberg have summarized the top cases from the year and explained their impact on estates and trusts law. Starting with a discussion of the Court of Appeal decision in Spence v. BMO Trust Company, this paper also touches on…read more

Passing of Accounts and Business Assets

by: , February 4, 2016

Passing the Trustee’s Accounts When There Are Business Assets At the beneficiaries’ insistence, or at his own initiation, a trustee[i] may apply to court to pass his accounts.  Once in court passing format, the accounts will list the deceased’s assets as of date of death, and trace any subsequent disposition of those assets.  However, where…read more

Case Comment: Re: Estate of Dominico Grillo

by: , April 27, 2015

Can an Ontario litigant bring a will challenge here to set aside a will made in Italy?  This interesting question was recently answered affirmatively by Justice Newbould in the recent decision in Re Estate of Domenico Grillo. Read Angela’s case comment here.

Litigating Estate Disputes With Multi-Jurisdictional Assets

by: , April 22, 2015

In today’s increasingly cosmopolitan world, it is not unusual for someone to own property in more than one jurisdiction.  When a dispute arises with respect to the estate of a deceased with assets in multiple jurisdictions, there are several distinct but related issues that the estate litigator must consider.  First, one must consider which jurisdiction’s…read more

Passing of Accounts – 2013

by: and , November 26, 2014

If a theme were to emerge from the contested passing of accounts cases that were decided in 2013, it would be “protect the innocent”. In some cases, this theme manifested itself in decisions to remove trustees who acted improperly or to surcharge trustees who misappropriated funds. In other cases, judges protected honest (albeit imperfect) fiduciaries…read more

Fraudulent Breach of Trust

by: , November 4, 2014

All is not lost where the trustee of a trust breaches his fiduciary obligation, misappropriates trust assets, and disappears. Where there has been a fraudulent breach of trust, the defrauded beneficiaries are able to pursue strangers to the trust for damages or the return of the trust property. There are three main circumstances in which…read more

Orders for Directions and Pleadings

by: and , October 7, 2014

Will and Power of Attorney (“POA”) challenges are becoming more common. Whether it is the result of the much-vaunted and long-heralded wealth transfer between generations, the aging of society, or an American inspired litigious approach to sorting out life’s inevitable disputes, these court challenges will likely only increase in quantity and complexity. Laying the groundwork…read more

Production of Estate Documents in Contested Beneficiary Litigation

by: and , May 1, 2014

When an estate is involved in litigation against its beneficiaries, the production of estate documents is often a highly emotional subject, not to mention legally complex.  The complexity is due to the convergence of multiple forms of disclosure obligations and privileges, some of which are unique to estates litigation.  These include: –  A trustee’s obligation…read more

Duty and Standard of Care of Solicitors Practicing in Estates

by: and , February 19, 2014

A solicitor owes a duty of care to his or her client.  This duty arises in contract (under the terms of the retainer agreement) and as a professional duty imposed on all lawyers to act with skill and competence when serving their client. The appropriate standard of varies with the circumstances and type of legal…read more