What is a Fiduciary?

by: , June 21, 2021

The term “fiduciary” does not get thrown around frequently outside of some advertisements for investment services. However, fiduciary relationships are at the heart of estate and trust law. What follows is a “Fiduciary FAQ.” What is a fiduciary? A fiduciary is a person who holds some right, power, or authority which, when exercised, impacts the…read more

Can I Charge My Brother Rent For Living in Dad’s Home?

by: , April 26, 2021

In many estates, the family home is the most valuable asset. It can also be the most costly to maintain – mortgage payments, utilities, property taxes, and insurance all have to be kept current until the house is sold. Unfortunately, selling the deceased’s house is a lot more complicated when there is someone living in…read more

Fraud’s Cost Consequences

by: , January 18, 2021

At the end of litigation, the unsuccessful party is usually ordered to pay part of the legal fees of the winning party. The ever-present threat of having to pay costs to the winning party can act as a powerful disincentive for making groundless or unsubstantiated claims. The risk of being on the wrong end of…read more

What Happens to My Pet When I Die?

by: , December 14, 2020

For many, the greatest loves of their lives are their furry (or scaly) friends. As a result, there is often a strong desire to make sure they are properly cared for after the testator’s death. How to accomplish this is not always straightforward. In Ontario, animals are considered personal property. This means that you can…read more

Dealing with Squatters in the Family Home

by: , December 9, 2020

This blog was written by Tyler Lin, Student-At-Law As all litigators know, there are two sides to every story. In the world of estate litigation, it is not uncommon for one side to view themselves as an invited guest entitled to remain in the family home while the other side views them as a squatter….read more

The Father of My Children: Court-Ordered Paternity Testing

by: , November 2, 2020

This blog was written by Tyler Lin, student-at-law In the Quebec case of Adoption – 091, Dubois J. made reference to the Latin maxim: “Mater semper certa est, pater incertus,” which means: the mother is always certain, but the father, uncertain. This phrase sums up the historical treatment of paternity before the relatively recent advent…read more

What is a “Common Law Spouse”?

by: , October 27, 2020

In Canada, every person is afforded certain protections in the event they get divorced. For example, there are statutes in place to help determine how the couple will divide their property and whether one of them is entitled to child support or spousal support (and what amount). However, not every couple in a committed, long-term…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

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