Cautions and Certificates of Pending Litigation

by: , August 22, 2022

All too often the question of ownership over a piece of real estate is part of the larger puzzle of an estate dispute. If a party is asserting a claim of ownership over piece of real estate where they are not the registered owner, registering a caution on title or a certificate of pending litigation…read more

The Major-Minor

by: , August 16, 2022

In a previous blog (found here), I commented on the role of the Office of the Children’s Lawyer (the “OCL”) in representing the interests of a child under the age of 18, in cases in Ontario involving estates and trusts. There are various nuances to the OCL’s role in such matters. While settlements impacting minors…read more

What are the Steps in an Uncontested Guardianship Application?

by: , August 8, 2022

When an elderly parent loses the ability to make financial or care decisions on his own, families often rally together. The adult children may find they are able to execute financial and care decisions for their parent on an informal basis, and this informal management will continue until a bank or medical facility refuses to…read more

Considering an Appeal: final versus interlocutory orders

by: , June 27, 2022

Why does it Matter? Determining whether an order is final or interlocutory is important for litigators considering the proper avenue of appeal. In Ontario, appellate jurisdiction is distributed to two courts. A final order of a Superior Court Justice is appealable to the Court of Appeal as of right, and an interlocutory order is appealable…read more

Retrospective Capacity Assessments

by: , June 20, 2022

Whether a deceased person had testamentary capacity to execute his or her will is a question often raised in estate litigation and is the subject of many will challenges. A contemporaneous assessment of a testator’s capacity is not always conducted, and sometimes, even if such an assessment was done, it may be flawed or unreliable…read more

Ontario Welcomes New Tort of Family Violence

by: , May 2, 2022

Dear Readers, You may remember my previous blog of February 2021, where Ontario welcomed the new tort of internet harassment. The recognition of new common law torts is not an everyday occurrence. Coincidentally, a year later, in February of 2022 Ontario welcomed another new tort: the tort of family violence. After an intensive 11-day trial,…read more

The Role of the OCL

by: , October 4, 2021

de VRIES LITIGATION LLP often acts as agent lawyers for the office of the children’s lawyer (the “OCL”) in various proceedings. Generally, the OCL represents the interests of a child under the age of 18 in cases in Ontario. Minors’ interests are often at play in estate and trusts matters. For example, a minor may…read more

Can Secret Recordings be Effective Evidence in Litigation?

by: , September 27, 2021

In estate litigation, the practice of making secret or surreptitious recordings is not uncommon. It’s not unusual for tape recorders to be hidden around the home, or for phone calls to be recorded without the consent or knowledge of the other party. This begs three questions: (1) What do judges actually think of this practice?…read more

Notice of Objection to Accounts

by: , August 16, 2021

A passing of accounts refers to the process whereby the court approves of the estate trustee’s accounts. The accounts provide, among other things, details relating to the estate’s capital and revenue receipts and disbursements. While an estate trustee can voluntarily bring an application to pass accounts or be compelled to do so by the court,…read more

The Cost Consequences of Our Conduct

by: , June 28, 2021

One of the first questions clients often raise at the outset of a retainer is how much the litigation is going to cost them. While many know that going to court is an expense endeavour, the parties’ conduct in a proceeding can have a great impact upon the ultimate costs ordered to be paid. By…read more