Orders for Contempt – Who, What, Where and How?

by: , April 8, 2024

The notion of having an individual cited or declared in contempt of Court is something litigants may hear about, but the nuances of obtaining a contempt order are worth reviewing. Generally, a motion for contempt may be brought when a person has failed to comply with the terms of a Court order. In particular, Rule…read more

Persons under Disability and Settlement

by: , January 29, 2024

Rule 1.03 of the Ontario Rules of Civil Procedure defines a person under a disability as being a minor or someone mentally incapable within the meaning of section 6 or 45 of the Substitute Decisions Act, 1992, S.O. 1992, c.30, in respect of an issue in the proceeding. In estate litigation, the rights of minor…read more

The Guardianship Application

by: , November 6, 2023

We see a lot of guardianship disputes in the estate litigation world. Typically, a guardianship application arises when an individual lacks capacity to manage his or her property and/or personal care, and there is no power of attorney in place to make financial and/or personal care decisions on behalf of that incapable person. In such…read more

Keeping Things Informal

by: , July 17, 2023

An estate trustee has an ongoing duty to keep track of funds coming into and flowing out of an estate, and to keep beneficiaries reasonably apprised. Unfortunately, in estate litigation, we are often confronted with cases wherein estate trustees fail to advise the beneficiaries of the financial activity in an estate. As such, it is…read more

Who to Sue?

by: , June 5, 2023

Launching a lawsuit and deciding to proceed with litigation is a big decision which requires thought and attention. One of the first matters to consider is who is going to be named as a respondent or defendant to a proceeding. In estates litigation, generally, any individual or entity with a financial interest in an estate…read more

Rule 49 Settlement Offers

by: , April 18, 2023

As lawyers, we try to encourage our clients to take a reasoned and reasonable approach when it comes to pursuing (or not pursuing) ongoing litigation. There are times when there is no choice but to resolve a dispute in court, and there are times when settlement is the best avenue. However, when and on what…read more

The Litigation Guardian

by: , November 30, 2022

Rule 7 of the Ontario Rules of Civil Procedure, R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 194 provides, in part, that unless the court orders or a statute provides otherwise, a proceeding shall be commenced, continued or defended on behalf of a party under disability by a litigation guardian. Generally, a party under disability is a minor (i.e. a…read more

Actions vs. Applications

by: , October 3, 2022

Generally, a court proceeding is categorized as either an action or an application. Both actions and applications end with a judge making a decision (judgment); however, an action concludes with a trial and live witnesses and an application is conducted by way of a ‘paper trial’ (i.e. no live witnesses). In both cases, judges will…read more

The Major-Minor

by: , August 16, 2022

In a previous blog (found here), I commented on the role of the Office of the Children’s Lawyer (the “OCL”) in representing the interests of a child under the age of 18, in cases in Ontario involving estates and trusts. There are various nuances to the OCL’s role in such matters. While settlements impacting minors…read more

Retrospective Capacity Assessments

by: , June 20, 2022

Whether a deceased person had testamentary capacity to execute his or her will is a question often raised in estate litigation and is the subject of many will challenges. A contemporaneous assessment of a testator’s capacity is not always conducted, and sometimes, even if such an assessment was done, it may be flawed or unreliable…read more