Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) – Part II

by: , October 19, 2020

Attracting the interest of critics in criminal law, constitutional law, health law, elder law and beyond, MAID continues to be among the most hotly debated topics in the contemporary Canadian legal landscape. In 1993, the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) rejected a Charter challenge to the then existing Criminal Code provisions which prohibited MAID [see:…read more

‘Leave Them A Buck And They Can’t Challenge Your Will’ – Nope, Not That Simple

by: , October 5, 2020

A common myth about estate planning is that if you leave a nominal amount (say $1.00) to someone it prevents them from challenging your will. Like most urban legends, there is a grain of truth here – but it’s still a myth. This grain of truth is that one of the grounds to challenge a…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

What is a CPL and How Do I Get One?

by: , September 21, 2020

A certificate of pending litigation (commonly referred to as “CPL”) provides notice that a legal proceeding has been commenced questioning the owner’s interest in land. In order to be effective, a CPL must be issued by a court and registered on title to the land in dispute. Once it has been registered on title, a…read more

Ambiguous Wills and How They Are Interpreted

by: , September 1, 2020

The occasion may arise that a testator’s intentions as expressed in their Will are unclear. The ambiguity may be the result of drafting errors in the Will or a change in circumstances between the date the testator signed the Will and the date of death, but this change is not addressed in the Will. In…read more

Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) – Still Controversial

by: , August 28, 2020

In Canada, MAID has now been legal since June 2016 when the Parliament of Canada passed federal legislation that allowed eligible Canadian adults to request medical assistance in dying. However, the issue is by no means settled and the courts have been frequently called upon to referee MAID’s implementation and application. By way of background,…read more

Action? Application? What’s the Difference?

by: , August 18, 2020

Litigation comes with its own jargon which is not easy to decipher. In Ontario a lawsuit/court proceeding is categorized as either an action or an application. What’s the difference? The terms are defined in the Rules of Civil Procedure, but these definitions are not terribly useful at first blush; an action is defined as “a…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