Stuart v. Stuart: When Spouses “Separate” Due to Changing Medical Needs

by: , September 4, 2019

Separation for medical reason affects married spouses whom are forced to live apart due to one’s changing medical needs or deteriorating health. In Stuart v. Stuart, 2019 ONSC 4328, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice was asked to assess how a physical separation due to a spouse’s admission to a long-term care facility impacts the…read more

Testamentary Freedom – A Fundamental Right?

by: , June 17, 2019

Whether testamentary autonomy is a constitutionally protected right has not been considered by the courts … until now. The rules of testamentary succession (i.e. wills and estates) are governed by provincial law. While each province and territory has its own set of statutes, most have imposed some requirements that the deceased make “adequate provision” for…read more

Sealing One’s Fate: The Sherman Murders, Probate and Perseverance

by: , May 15, 2019

The Sherman murders remain famously unresolved and still generate headlines and notoriety. But, for better or worse, life moves on and Barry’s and Honey’s respective estates (collectively the “Sherman Estates”), however mundane, need to be probated and administered. In that regard, the Court of Appeal for Ontario (“OCA”) recently released a decision on an appeal…read more

To Remove or Not to Remove … That is the Question

by: , February 6, 2019

Estates tell a million stories and the case of Ford v Mazman, 2019 ONSC 542, is just one of them. Mary died on April 3, 2017. Mary’s 2004 Will named her two nieces, Laura and Carleen, as sole beneficiaries. Mary appointed her close friend, Seta, as her estate trustee/executor. Laura had travelled to Ontario from…read more

Limiting the Limitations Act

by: , November 27, 2018

Estate trustees must be ready at all times to account for their management and administration of an estate.  There is no statutory requirement for an estate trustee to formally pass his or her accounts.  However, the court may order an estate trustee to do so.  As part of the estate accounting application, beneficiaries can file…read more

Milne Estate (Re)visited

by: and , November 20, 2018

The decision of Milne Estate (Re) (“Milne”) caused a stir among the members of the estates bar and solicitors who draft wills, going so far as to illicit an alert from LawPRO. While the Milne decision (which is under appeal) has garnered a great deal of attention and commentary from lawyers (including Justin de Vries’…read more

Not So Fast – Who Controls the Body?

by: , November 7, 2018

“He knows where the bodies are buried” is a throwaway line from Orson Wells’ cinematic masterpiece, Citizen Kane. That line soon took on a life of its own and entered the cultural vernacular. In the world of estates, a more frequent problem is not finding the bodies but deciding where to bury the bodies. In…read more

The Final Countdown

by: , October 5, 2018

As Justice S. Nakatsuru observed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice’s decision in Sinclair v. Harris, 2018 ONSC 5718, “[n]o one likes to see a limitation period applied to dismiss a case”. That being said, and as we will soon learn, even if they result in less than satisfactory conclusions, there are good reasons…read more

A RULE OF INCONVENIENCE?

by: , May 23, 2018

A centuries’ old practice gives personal representatives one year after the death of a deceased to wind up the deceased’s estate[1]. This is often called the “executor’s year”. However, in today’s world, it frequently takes more than one year to administer an estate. What happens if a personal representative does not or is not in…read more

But Everything’s Depending on the Way the Wind May Blow [1]

by: , April 2, 2018

Can an estate trustee move to strike a beneficiary’s Notice of Objection to Accounts in the face of their Application to Pass Accounts, based on any of the Limitations Act, 2002, and/or laches and acquiescence? This was the discreet, though important, issue considered by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Wall Estate, 2018 ONSC…read more