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

Aging Population Brings Greater Risk to Guardianship System

by: , November 27, 2015

An article last month in the Wall Street Journal entitled “Abuse Plagues System of Legal Guardians for Adults” noted a variety of complaints across the United States about guardians of property and personal care. In one nightmarish story, 71-year old Linda McDowell’s former housemate and companion helped file a court petition, unbeknownst to Ms. McDowell, seeking…read more

An Unwelcome Guest – Guardian of Property Obtains a Writ of Possession

by: , May 27, 2014

In 1998, Ms. Tollis was declared incapable of managing her property.  In the same year, the Public Guardian and Trustee (the “PGT”) became her statutory guardian of property.  Ms. Tollis held an interest in a house along with her brother, Mr. Tollis.  The interest in the house was Ms. Tollis’ primary financial asset. Shortly before…read more

Mickey Rooney’s Estate and Shedding Light on Financial Elder Abuse

by: , April 15, 2014

It is not surprising that Mickey Rooney’s estate may become embroiled in litigation.  Mr. Rooney was married nine times; he was survived by a number of children and stepchildren, and was estranged from his current wife at the time of his death.  Such full lives often lead to complicated estates. More troubling was that shortly…read more

When A Custody Battle Turns into Competing Guardianship Applications

by: , December 6, 2013

In a recent Ontario case, divorced parents each sought sole guardianship of their mentally incapable adult daughter. The parents, who divorced in the 1980s, were unable to work together as joint guardians of their 42 years old mentally incapable daughter (“Isabella”). While both parents, who are now in their 70s, agreed that it would be ideal…read more