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

Passing of Accounts: Adjusting An Estate Trustee’s Compensation

by: , January 5, 2015

In a recent passing of accounts case, the court reduced the estate trustee’s compensation for the following reasons: – No compensation should be charged on investment losses listed as capital disbursements; – The costs connected to the sale of real property (real estate commission, property taxes, and legal fees) are not to be included when…read more

Congratulations – It’s A Girl!

by: , August 21, 2014

A  new study reported on this week found that daughters are significantly more helpful than sons when it comes to taking care of their elderly parents. Referencing data found from surveying 26,000 Americans, it seems that daughters spend on average 12.3 hours a month looking after an elderly parent versus sons who spend on average 5.6 hours…read more

Testamentary Custody

by: , June 30, 2014

I was recently asked how parents can ensure that the guardian of their choice takes custody of their minor child or children in the event that both parents die simultaneously. In Ontario, parents (or any other person with custody of the child) can nominate someone to assume custody of their child immediately following their death,…read more