Probating vs. Interpreting Wills: What’s the Difference?

by: , January 27, 2023

In the good ol’ days (before the 90’s), Ontario had two separate courts which were responsible for handling matters relating to wills and estates: the Surrogate Court and the Superior Court. The Surrogate Court had strict jurisdiction to dealt with probate matters, such as determining whether a will was valid. In contrast, questions about the…read more

Compelling a Guardian or Attorney to Account

by: , January 16, 2023

Attorneys of property must keep detailed records of their management of the grantor of the power of attorney’s (the “grantor”) affairs. The reason for this is so they may pass their accounts when needed. While some attorneys may periodically pass their accounts without prompting, others may not. This can be frustrating for others who care…read more

Mirror Wills and Mutual Wills: Cooperative Estate Planning

by: , January 9, 2023

For many, marriage represents the intermingling of lives, families, and assets. It can also mean coordinating estate plans. Two common forms of coordinated estate plans are mirror wills and mutual wills – both are particularly useful if the couple have children, either together or from prior relationships. Knowing the difference between these two types of…read more

Searching for a will, and what to do if a will is lost or destroyed

by: , December 12, 2022

Searching for a Will It can be difficult to know where to start when searching for a will. First and foremost, remember that a will does not necessarily have to be prepared by a lawyer. If you think the deceased may have prepared a holograph will, you will want to make sure you don’t automatically…read more

Choose Your Attorney Wisely: A Cautionary Tale

by: , December 6, 2022

Selecting your attorney for property is not a decision to be taken lightly. An attorney for property is a fiduciary, holds a position of trust, and can do anything with your money and property that you could do yourself , except make a Will. Needless to say, your attorney should be trustworthy, financially responsible, and…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

Examinations and Experts Don’t Mix

by: , November 21, 2022

Today’s blog was written by Chris Cook, student-at-law at de VRIES LITIGATION LLP. Examinations for discovery are a key step in the civil litigation process. By allowing parties to ask questions of the opposing party and witnesses before trial, the parties are able to gain a better understanding of relevant facts and documents. After examinations…read more

What is a Guardian?

by: , November 14, 2022

Attorneys for property and attorneys for personal care are, for the most part, generally understood in our society. That may be because the attorney for property or attorney for personal care is the role that one can grant (the “grantor”) to another through the execution of powers of attorney. The discussion about powers of attorney…read more

What is the Role of Section 3 Counsel?

by: , November 11, 2022

If an individual whose capacity is in issue in proceedings under the Substitute Decisions Act (“SDA”) does not have counsel,  the court may direct the Public Guardian and Trustee (“PGT”) to arrange legal representation for that person. Pursuant to section 3 of the SDA,  the alleged incapable person is deemed to have capacity to retain…read more

The Terrifying “In Terrorem” Clause

by: , October 31, 2022

OoooooooooOOO! It is the scariest clause around; more frightening to beneficiaries than a killer Santa “clause”. Also called a no-contest clause, an in terrorem clause translates literally to “in fear” in Latin. In the estate planning context, it is a clause which forces or prohibits beneficiaries from doing something, using the fear of a loss…read more