Interim distributions

by: , November 14, 2023

As many people know, in addition to being expensive, litigation is often slow-moving and lengthy. In an estate with significant or contested issues, litigation can continue for several years. Even in estates without significant disputes, applying for a certificate of appointment and administering an estate can take many months. Further, once a certificate of appointment…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

Multi-Generational Family Homes and Unjust Enrichment

by: , October 31, 2023

Living in a multi-generational family home can make home ownership more affordable. The parent likely purchased the home at a time when homes were more affordable. As the parent(s) ages and retires, the adult children take on more of the responsibility for maintenance, upkeep, and expenses of the property. While pooling resources in this way…read more

Court-ordered Wills and s. 21.1(1) of the SLRA

by: , October 23, 2023

January 2022 brought significant changes to a governing statute in estates law: the Succession Law Reform Act[1]. One such change provides the Court with authority to declare a will valid and fully effective despite its non compliance with legislative requirements for formal execution.[2]  The legislative requirements provide that a will is not valid unless: (a) it…read more

Wait a Minute! I Thought We Agreed to Settle!

by: , October 4, 2023

Litigation is long, expensive, and stressful, and its outcome is never certain. This is why lawyers often encourage their clients to attempt to mediate their legal problems outside the court room. If a mediation is successful, the parties will enter into a settlement agreement which sets out the terms under which the parties agree to…read more

Lost connection: A brief overview of jurisdiction

by: , September 25, 2023

In today’s global economy, it’s not unusual for an estate to hold property across several provinces or countries. Where litigation involving such an estate looms ahead, there is always the question of where to bring the claim, also known as jurisdiction. One thing to keep in mind is that each province is its own jurisdiction….read more

A brief primer on mediations

by: , September 11, 2023

Overview Estate litigation is a long, slow and expensive endeavour. Will challenges, support claims or objections to the appointment of a trustee often drag on for years, and can swallow much of the value of the estate at issue. One way to avoid the cost and delay is through a mediated settlement agreement. The purpose…read more

What Do You Mean? Testamentary Intention and the Interpretation of Wills

by: , August 30, 2023

In the legal world, “testamentary intentions” refer to a person’s wishes for the administration of their estate and distribution of their assets after death. The last will and testament (often referred to simply as a “will”) is the document which sets out the testator’s (i.e. the person who signed the will) testamentary wishes. Problems arise…read more

Punitive Damages Against Estate Trustees Can Happen

by: , August 22, 2023

The fiduciary relationship should not be entered into lightly. Examples of fiduciaries in estates and trusts law are estate trustees, attorneys, and guardians. The fiduciary owes legal duties to the beneficiary, for example an estate trustee must account for her management of estate assets. Failure to do so can lead to trouble for the estate…read more

He said, she said, hearsay

by: , July 31, 2023

The basic rule of evidence is that all relevant evidence is admissible. However, there are exceptions to this basic rule. One of the main exceptions is the rule against hearsay. But what exactly is hearsay? Today’s blog post will be a very basic overview of a complicated, tricky legal concept. What is hearsay? In R….read more