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 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…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

Born Out of Wedlock, Still Out of Luck

by: , May 8, 2017

Should someone be excluded from inheriting from an estate simply because they were born out wedlock? With “a good deal of regret”, Justice Gray of the Superior Court of Justice concluded in Koziarski v. Sullivan that the answer was “yes”… with respect to wills made before March 31, 1978. Jadwiga Koziarski died on February 15, 2016…read more

The PGT and the Case of the Missing Estate Trustee

by: , November 28, 2016

While a will offers a way to ensure your assets pass to your chosen beneficiaries on death, not everyone dies with a will. When this happens, the Succession Law Reform Act (Part II) sets out who are the beneficiaries of the estate, while the Estates Act (section 29) ranks in order of priority who may…read more

What an Estate Trustee Needs to Know About Firearms

by: , May 20, 2016

An estate trustee is tasked with disposing of the assets of an estate. A trickier situation arises when the deceased owned firearms. Strict rules govern the ownership and disposal of firearms in Canada, and trustees must take care to ensure they do not inadvertently break the law (and take necessary safety precautions). The disposition of…read more