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

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

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

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

The Tax Clearance Certificate, Demystified

by: , October 28, 2019

As legal representative of an estate, the estate trustee’s obligations are varied. One of their duties is to bring the deceased’s taxes up to date and to file all estate tax returns before the estate is wound up. To exonerate their potential liability to outstanding tax issues pursuant to subsection 159(3)(a) of the Income Tax…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

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

Insolvent and Bankrupt Estates

by: , May 26, 2015

Estate trustees and beneficiaries often focus on the positive – the many and varied assets of an estate which will soon be distributed to the beneficiaries. It is only after the estate administration is underway that the full financial picture emerges – an estate that appeared flush may actually have more debts than there are…read more