What Happens to My Air Miles When I Die?

by: , December 2, 2020

Many Canadians collect loyalty points with hopes of redeeming the points for various rewards including free air travel, hotels, gas, groceries, and cash. This year with international travel interrupted by COVID-19, many people’s plans to redeem their travel points have been put on hold. Other Canadians have amassed large collections of points over the years…read more

What Happens When a Fiduciary Misappropriates Funds?

by: , July 25, 2020

There is growing concern about the financial exploitation of the elderly by their attorneys for property. The combination of a cognitively impaired grantor (a person who appoints an attorney for property) paired with an attorney who has unfettered access to all of the grantor’s property creates the potential for financial abuse by attorneys. A power…read more

The Risks of Being an Estate Trustee

by: , June 8, 2020

A recent news story highlighted one estate trustee’s regretful experience administering an estate.  Due to lengthy litigation involving the validity of the Will and an unsuccessful result for the estate trustees, the estate trustee was ordered to personally pay over $100,000.00 in legal fees.  While the personal cost order was a result of a unique…read more

Who makes decisions for me if I become incapable and have not made plans?

by: , April 29, 2020

Before COVID-19, many of us had earmarked 2020 as the year we would get our affairs in order, including preparing powers of attorney for personal care and property. Unfortunately we may have not gotten around to it.  The pandemic has accelerated discussions about intubation, CPR and end of life care.  Additionally, many people, especially those…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

What Happens to the Residue of a Trust when a Gift Over Fails?

by: , February 17, 2015

In a recent Ontario case, the Applicant, a beneficiary of a testamentary trust, sought an order declaring that the gift over of the trust was voided for uncertainty.  He also sought an order that the entire trust be paid out to him immediately.  The estate trustee took the position that the gift over clause was…read more

Passing of Accounts: Adjusting An Estate Trustee’s Compensation

by: , January 5, 2015

In a recent passing of accounts case, the court reduced the estate trustee’s compensation for the following reasons: – No compensation should be charged on investment losses listed as capital disbursements; – The costs connected to the sale of real property (real estate commission, property taxes, and legal fees) are not to be included when…read more

Alcoholism Alone Not Enough to Negate Testamentary Capacity

by: , November 17, 2014

In daBalinhard, the Saskatchewan Court found that a history of alcoholism, short term memory loss and unusual behavior was not enough to sustain a will challenge. After a forty-year marriage, the testator, John, and his wife, Shirley, separated on August 16, 2011.  Two months after their separation, John executed a new will on October 20,…read more

Calculating Dependant’s Support – A View from the Divisional Court

by: , October 3, 2014

The background in Quinn vs Carrigan is well known to estate and family law litigators as the parties have been involved in extensive litigation, including two trials and two appeals.  The first trial and its subsequent appeal, which focused on the issue of who is a “spouse” pursuant to the Pension Benefits Act, led to…read more

Congratulations – It’s A Girl!

by: , August 21, 2014

A  new study reported on this week found that daughters are significantly more helpful than sons when it comes to taking care of their elderly parents. Referencing data found from surveying 26,000 Americans, it seems that daughters spend on average 12.3 hours a month looking after an elderly parent versus sons who spend on average 5.6 hours…read more