Involving the PGT in Guardianship and Estate Matters

by: , May 4, 2021

Guardianship and estate disputes often present complex family dynamics touching upon a myriad of issues. Where the interests of an incapable adult are involved in litigation, the office of the Public Guardian and Trustee (the “PGT”) becomes involved. By way of background, the PGT functions in accordance with the Public Guardian and Trustee Act and…read more

A Tale of Two Suicide Notes

by: , March 8, 2021

2020 was an unusual year. Not only was there a global pandemic, but by sheer coincidence there was not one, but two estates applications in different provinces to determine whether a suicide note was a valid will. While the suicide note in Ontario was not found to be a valid Will, the one in British…read more

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 Criminal Code provisions at the time which prohibited MAID…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

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

Can an Attorney for Personal Care be Compensated?

by: , June 22, 2020

When the issue of compensation is not specifically addressed in the Power of Attorney for Personal Care, a guardian for personal care may be wondering whether they are entitled to compensation. Legislation, however, does not provide a clear answer. While under the Substitute Decisions Act an attorney for property is expressly allowed to take compensation,…read more

The Revival of Unconscionable Procurement

by: , April 8, 2020

The administrations of some estates simply do not move forward smoothly. The Elias Gefen estate is one such estate. In Gefen v. Gaertner, 2019 ONSC 6015, Justice Kimmel addressed multiple issues which had stopped the administration from moving forward, ranging from mutual wills to secret trust agreements. Justice Kimmel also applied, for the first time…read more

The LCO Takes on Dispute Resolution and Legal Capacity

by: , February 27, 2020

Ontario’s current legislative regime defining legal capacity and setting the rules for substitute decision-making and guardianship took shape in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Since then, significant demographic, legal, and social changes rendered the existing system inaccessible to all but a few. In their March 2017 final report on Legal Capacity, Decision-making and Guardianship…read more

No Undue Influence, Says Court of Appeal

by: , July 18, 2017

Rita and her late husband Frank built a successful business together in the course of their lengthy marriage. Unfortunately, there is a struggle between Rita’s twin sons (both named Jean) over who should act as their mother’s attorney for property, devastating both the family’s finances and relationship. The Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal of…read more

Home? Or a Retirement Home? The Court Must Decide

by: , April 19, 2016

An elderly woman suffers from dementia. Her two children are both her attorneys for property and personal care. Both have diametrically opposed plans for where she would live. In Walter Burnat v Mary Bosworth et al, 2016 ONSC 2607 (S.C.J.) the court had to decide whether the mother – Olga – would continue to live…read more