Being Removed or Renouncing as Estate Trustee?

by: and , November 4, 2014

Although they sound similar, there are important procedural differences between “removing” an estate trustee and “renouncing” the right to act as an estate trustee. Where the named estate trustee has not yet begun acting in her role as estate trustee (i.e. she has not yet undertaken any work administering the estate), she may “resign” or…read more

Beneficiaries Left Paying for Estate Trustee’s Mortgage

by: and , October 24, 2014

Can an estate trustee’s ability to mortgage an estate property be limited by s. 9 of the Estates Administration Act? This was the question recently addressed by the court in Di Michele v. Di Michele. Section 9 of the Estates Administration Act allows for real property to automatically vest in the beneficiaries of an estate…read more

Constructive Trusts and Tracing Funds

by: , September 8, 2014

The recent Ontario Superior Court case of Moody v Hirsh explores the issue of when a plaintiff is able to trace the money he or she paid to a defendant into the defendant’s own property. The decision demonstrates that the circumstances in which a court will make an order imposing a constructive trust over the defendant’s property…read more

Testamentary Custody

by: , June 30, 2014

I was recently asked how parents can ensure that the guardian of their choice takes custody of their minor child or children in the event that both parents die simultaneously. In Ontario, parents (or any other person with custody of the child) can nominate someone to assume custody of their child immediately following their death,…read more

Foreign Executors Must Be Careful to Follow the Rules

by: , June 12, 2014

A recent decision of Justice D. M. Brown, Re Estate of Albert Applegath III, provides an overview of the necessary steps a foreign executor must take to have her authority recognized in Ontario. Albert Applegath III died a resident of New Mexico. His will appointed his wife, Clavis, as executor of his estate. After applying…read more

Claims Involving Land Enjoy Extended Limitation Periods

by: and , June 3, 2014

McConnell v Huxtable (ON CA) is a family law dispute with implications for estates and trust law. The parties were in a relationship from 1993 to 2007 – they were not married and did not have children together. The common law husband bought and sold two houses during the relationship and owned a third home…read more

Claims By or Against Estates Expire After Two Years

by: and , May 14, 2014

The decision of the Ontario Divisional Court in Cerqueira Estate v Ontario provides a useful discussion of the differences between the limitation periods in the Limitation Act and in the Trustee Act.  Whereas limitation periods under the Limitations Act begin running as soon as the cause of the claim is discovered (the principle of discoverability),…read more

Increasing Access to Justice through Orders for Directions

by: and , May 13, 2014

The Supreme Court of Canada has emphasized access to justice as one of the top concerns facing the legal profession today (see our blog post summarizing the Supreme Court’s decision, Hryniak v Mauldin).  Justice Brown of the Ontario Superior Court has made practical the Supreme Court’s directives in Re Estate of Ireni Traitses. Re Estate…read more

In the Absence of Accounting Records, What are the Options?

by: , May 1, 2014

The Ontario Court of Appeal in Pirani v Esmail was asked to determine the appropriate way to determine the quantum of damages when no accounting records are available. In a 2-1 decision, the majority held that the expert’s reconstruction of accounts was not reliable given the near absence of accounting records. However, the dissenting judge…read more

Trust In The Rules Of Civil Procedure To Protect Beneficiaries And Litigants

by: , March 10, 2014

The Ottawa case of Hawkins v Hawkins Estate provides a well articulated summary of the grounds for the removal of estate trustees. In addition, it provides an interesting discussion regarding disclosure of a solicitor’s file after the death of the testator. The late John Hawkins ran a farming business near Ottawa and owned large parcels of land….read more