Electronic Filing of Probate Applications

by: , October 13, 2020

This blog was written by Tyler Lin, student-at-law at de VRIES LITIGATION LLP Effective October 6, 2020, probate applications in Ontario can be filed by e-mail to the Ontario Superior Court at this link.[1] As you might already be aware, a probate application is the court procedure by which a will is proven to be…read more

What Is a Formal Application to Pass Accounts?

by: , September 28, 2020

Estate trustees, attorneys for property, guardians of property and trustees of a trust (collectively referred to here as “fiduciaries”) are all obligated to keep detailed records, or accounts, of their management of assets. Fiduciaries can be compelled to pass accounts by those legally entitled, in an application to compel an accounting, or they may volunteer…read more

I do not like the estate trustee/executor – can I get rid of them?

by: , August 10, 2020

Can you apply for the removal of the estate trustee? Section 37(3) of the Trustee Act provides the court with legislative authority to grant an order removing an estate trustee upon the application of: -any executor or administrator desiring to be relieved from the duties of the office, or -any executor or administrator complaining of…read more

Does a Joint Bank Account Go to the Survivor or the Estate?

by: , July 27, 2020

The Law of Resulting Trusts What happens to jointly owned assets following the death of one of the joint owners? In the normal course, full ownership passes to the surviving owner.[1] However, this result may seem unfair where only one of the owners paid for the property or, in the case of bank accounts, only…read more

The Rights of a Surviving Spouse – Spousal Election

by: , July 6, 2020

I just finished watching Mrs. America, the recent TV series that chronicles the fight by women in the 1970s to enshrine the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) in the US Constitution. First proposed in 1921, the ERA sought to mandate equality between men and woman. In 1972, Congress passed the ERA, but they could not obtain…read more

My Sister Died Without a Will – What Happens Now?

by: , June 15, 2020

A will allows an individual to decide in advance who will administer her estate and who will receive her assets when she dies. Testamentary freedom is guaranteed to all Canadians, meaning we are free to choose who will benefit from our estates: family members, friends, pets, charities, or our favourite sports team. (Note that most…read more

The Risks of Being an Estate Trustee

by: , June 8, 2020

A recent news story highlighted one estate trustee’s regretful experience administering an estate.  Due to lengthy litigation involving the validity of the Will and an unsuccessful result for the estate trustees, the estate trustee was ordered to personally pay over $100,000.00 in legal fees.  While the personal cost order was a result of a unique…read more

How Much Compensation Is An Estate Executor Entitled To?

by: , May 11, 2020

After being appointed as estate trustee or executor of an estate, it can be unclear how much compensation can be claimed for administering the estate. In addition, beneficiaries often object to the amount claimed. How is executor compensation determined? In some cases, the will itself outlines the amount of compensation that may be claimed or…read more

Paying Funds Into and Out of Court

by: , May 3, 2020

During the course of litigation, you may run into a situation where money is “paid into court.” Paying money into court is a way of protecting funds while the litigation is ongoing or until a minor reaches the age of majority. For example, where there is a dispute about who is entitled to insurance proceeds,…read more

Clash of the Limitation Periods

by: , February 21, 2020

The Limitations Act, 2002, SO 2002, c 24, Sch B, brought order and clarity to limitation periods in Ontario. However, the Limitations Act did not displace all existing limitation periods established by statute. Several carve-outs which are particularly relevant to estates litigators includes the Real Property Limitations Act, RSO 1990, c L.15 and s. 38(3)…read more