Stuart v. Stuart: When Spouses “Separate” Due to Changing Medical Needs

by: , September 4, 2019

Separation for medical reason affects married spouses whom are forced to live apart due to one’s changing medical needs or deteriorating health. In Stuart v. Stuart, 2019 ONSC 4328, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice was asked to assess how a physical separation due to a spouse’s admission to a long-term care facility impacts the…read more

Testamentary Freedom – A Fundamental Right?

by: , June 17, 2019

Whether testamentary autonomy is a constitutionally protected right has not been considered by the courts … until now. The rules of testamentary succession (i.e. wills and estates) are governed by provincial law. While each province and territory has its own set of statutes, most have imposed some requirements that the deceased make “adequate provision” for…read more

Supreme Court Blesses Henson Trusts

by: , February 13, 2019

The Supreme Court of Canada has given its blessing to Henson Trusts (fully discretionary trusts set up to not impact the beneficiary’s social assistance benefits) in S.A. v. Metro Vancouver Housing Corp., 2019 SCC 4. I previously blogged about this case when it was before the Court of Appeal. The Metro Vancouver Housing Corporation (the…read more

Milne Estate (Re)visited

by: and , November 20, 2018

The decision of Milne Estate (Re) (“Milne”) caused a stir among the members of the estates bar and solicitors who draft wills, going so far as to illicit an alert from LawPRO. While the Milne decision (which is under appeal) has garnered a great deal of attention and commentary from lawyers (including Justin de Vries’…read more

SO I DUB THEE INVALID

by: , October 22, 2018

As Justice Dunphy queried to start Milne Estate (Re), 2018 ONSC 4174, “[i]s a will that grants the executors the discretion to determine what property is subject to the will a valid will?” For the reasons that follow, the answer is no. Background John Douglas Milne (“John”) and Sheila Marlyn Milne (“Sheila”) both passed away…read more

Baby boomers set to receive the largest intergenerational wealth transfer in Canadian history

by: , June 15, 2016

A new report this month by CIBC Capital Markets estimates that Canadians between the ages of 50 and 75 will receive a record $750 billion in inheritance in the next decade. They’ll receive it thanks to the growing number of Canadians over the age of 75 – the cohort has been calculated at just over…read more

Digital Assets Remain a Puzzling Subject in Estates

by: , January 18, 2016

Peggy Bush, a 72-year-old Victoria B.C. resident, lost her husband David to cancer in August. Peggy, who David left his entire estate to, was able to transfer the title of their house and car to her name without issue by using a notarized death certificate and a copy of the will. The only asset Peggy…read more

“On Title” Versus “Entitled”: The Doctrine of Resulting Trust

by: , June 3, 2015

A common estate planning technique to avoid probate tax is for a parent to transfer his or her house into joint tenancy with one of his or her children. That way, when the parent dies, the property passes by way of survivorship from the parent to the child without the need to go through probate…read more

Unregistered Transfer of Property Can Be Valid

by: and , March 25, 2015

A recent decision in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice held that a deed of transfer of land can still be valid even if the deed wasn’t registered until after the transferor died. In the case, Sproul Estate v. Sproul, the testatrix, Ann Sproul, had purchased a house in 1989 with her husband, Leonard, together…read more

Gifting Your House to Your Caregiver

by: , March 5, 2015

It is not uncommon for an aging parent to want to give an extra benefit to the child who is looking after her. However, where this means favouring one child over another, litigation is often not far behind. Such was the case of Donis v Georgopoulous. In the well-written reasons of Justice Firestone, the court…read more