Ontario Has Jurisdiction Over Invalid Italian Will

by: , March 11, 2015

Antonina’s father died during his vacation to Italy. She and her two siblings then received a purported handwritten will made just before his death which named their cousin Anna as a beneficiary. In Re Estate of Domenico Grillo, 2015 ONSC 1352, Justice Newbould found Ontario had jurisdiction over Antonina’s application to set aside this holograph…read more

How Far Can A Lawyer Go in Defending His Client?

by: , March 9, 2015

The latest ruling by the Divisional Court makes clear that a lawyer’s conduct in court is not beyond reproach In Groia v Law Society of Upper Canada, Justice Nordheimer of the Superior Court of Justice’s Divisional Court issued the latest ruling in a long-running legal saga that has become infamous for its questions of balancing…read more

Gifting Your House to Your Caregiver

by: , March 5, 2015

It is not uncommon for an aging parent to want to give an extra benefit to the child who is looking after her. However, where this means favouring one child over another, litigation is often not far behind. Such was the case of Donis v Georgopoulous. In the well-written reasons of Justice Firestone, the court…read more

Tort of Conspiracy in Estate Litigation

by: , March 3, 2015

Conspiracy has been something of a hot topic in civil litigation in recent years. While a wide range of activities have been used as the basis for a claim in conspiracy, it is not frequently seen in the estate litigation context. That may change, however, as the tort continues to  be adapted and modified by…read more

Divisional Court Guidance on “Proper Support”

by: , February 26, 2015

Bonnie and Danny had a 12 year common law relationship. In a modern twist on the typical fact scenario, Bonnie was the older, successful business woman and Danny was the younger man who left his job at Bonnie’s car dealership to look after things at home. At trial, Justice Greer found that they were very…read more

What Happens to the Residue of a Trust when a Gift Over Fails?

by: , February 17, 2015

In a recent Ontario case, the Applicant, a beneficiary of a testamentary trust, sought an order declaring that the gift over of the trust was voided for uncertainty.  He also sought an order that the entire trust be paid out to him immediately.  The estate trustee took the position that the gift over clause was…read more

Creativity Can Kill: Striking Out Pleadings

by: , January 30, 2015

A decision of the Ontario Superior Court, Catford v. Catford 2014 ONSC 135 demonstrates the importance of getting pleadings right. In this case, the plaintiff sued his niece for “$670,000 or such other sum as may represent one-third of the Catford family estate”. The facts pled in support of this claim was that the plaintiff’s…read more

Waiver of Solicitor-Client Privilege

by: , January 22, 2015

It is a well-recognized principle of law that communications between a client and his lawyer are privileged and remain private and confidential even after death. Only the client can choose to waive privilege and allow the communications to become public. Waiver can be either explicit or implicit. One well known example of implicit waiver of…read more

Will Challenges by Estate Trustees – A Hard Sell

by: , January 13, 2015

If you take steps to administer an estate pursuant to a will or to otherwise behave as if a will is valid, you may lose the right to later challenge that will. In Neuberger v. York, a decision of Justice Greer released in November 2014, she considered a motion to dismiss a will challenge that…read more

Summary Judgment and Trotter Estate

by: , January 6, 2015

As expected, the Supreme Court of Canada’s major decision in Hyrniak v. Mauldin has led to an increased use of the summary judgement motion in Ontario. On a motion for summary judgement, a court disposes of a case without the need for a costly and time consuming hearing or trial. However, some recent court decisions…read more