Fraud’s Cost Consequences

by: , January 18, 2021

At the end of litigation, the unsuccessful party is usually ordered to pay part of the legal fees of the winning party. The ever-present threat of having to pay costs to the winning party can act as a powerful disincentive for making groundless or unsubstantiated claims. The risk of being on the wrong end of…read more

What Happens to My Pet When I Die?

by: , December 14, 2020

For many, the greatest loves of their lives are their furry (or scaly) friends. As a result, there is often a strong desire to make sure they are properly cared for after the testator’s death. How to accomplish this is not always straightforward. In Ontario, animals are considered personal property. This means that you can…read more

What is a “Common Law Spouse”?

by: , October 27, 2020

In Canada, every person is afforded certain protections in the event they get divorced. For example, there are statutes in place to help determine how the couple will divide their property and whether one of them is entitled to child support or spousal support (and what amount). However, not every couple in a committed, long-term…read more

What is a CPL and How Do I Get One?

by: , September 21, 2020

A certificate of pending litigation (commonly referred to as “CPL”) provides notice that a legal proceeding has been commenced questioning the owner’s interest in land. In order to be effective, a CPL must be issued by a court and registered on title to the land in dispute. Once it has been registered on title, a…read more

Does a Joint Bank Account Go to the Survivor or the Estate?

by: , July 27, 2020

The Law of Resulting Trusts What happens to jointly owned assets following the death of one of the joint owners? In the normal course, full ownership passes to the surviving owner.[1] However, this result may seem unfair where only one of the owners paid for the property or, in the case of bank accounts, only…read more

My Sister Died Without a Will – What Happens Now?

by: , June 15, 2020

A will allows an individual to decide in advance who will administer her estate and who will receive her assets when she dies. Testamentary freedom is guaranteed to all Canadians, meaning we are free to choose who will benefit from our estates: family members, friends, pets, charities, or our favourite sports team. (Note that most…read more

Paying Funds Into and Out of Court

by: , May 3, 2020

During the course of litigation, you may run into a situation where money is “paid into court.” Paying money into court is a way of protecting funds while the litigation is ongoing or until a minor reaches the age of majority. For example, where there is a dispute about who is entitled to insurance proceeds,…read more

Clash of the Limitation Periods

by: , February 21, 2020

The Limitations Act, 2002, SO 2002, c 24, Sch B, brought order and clarity to limitation periods in Ontario. However, the Limitations Act did not displace all existing limitation periods established by statute. Several carve-outs which are particularly relevant to estates litigators includes the Real Property Limitations Act, RSO 1990, c L.15 and s. 38(3)…read more

Testamentary Freedom – A Fundamental Right?

by: , June 17, 2019

Whether testamentary autonomy is a constitutionally protected right has not been considered by the courts … until now. The rules of testamentary succession (i.e. wills and estates) are governed by provincial law. While each province and territory has its own set of statutes, most have imposed some requirements that the deceased make “adequate provision” for…read more

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