Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) – Part II

by: , October 19, 2020

Attracting the interest of critics in criminal law, constitutional law, health law, elder law and beyond, MAID continues to be among the most hotly debated topics in the contemporary Canadian legal landscape. In 1993, the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) rejected a Charter challenge to the then existing Criminal Code provisions which prohibited MAID [see:…read more

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

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

A Not So Pleasant Dispute: Is Mount Pleasant A Charitable Trust?

by: , May 18, 2020

Despite Mount Pleasant’s bucolic name, some of the issues surrounding the cemetery recently have been less than… pleasant. The decision to close for Mother’s Day (and the previous closure) due to COVID-19 was controversial. While maintaining social distancing is important, giving residents the ability to use midtown Toronto’s “Central Park” (as one city councilor referred…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

Sealing One’s Fate: The Sherman Murders, Probate and Perseverance

by: , May 15, 2019

The Sherman murders remain famously unresolved and still generate headlines and notoriety. But, for better or worse, life moves on and Barry’s and Honey’s respective estates (collectively the “Sherman Estates”), however mundane, need to be probated and administered. In that regard, the Court of Appeal for Ontario (“OCA”) recently released a decision on an appeal…read more

The Open Court Principle Against Protecting the Dignity and Privacy of the Victims of Crime: Quite the Balancing Act

by: , August 27, 2018

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice was recently tasked with balancing two rather weighty legal principles in Toronto Star Newspapers Ltd. v. Sherman Estate, 2018 ONSC 4706. The particular facts of this case also afforded the Court with the opportunity to reflect on the particular nature of estate files more generally. Background Barry Sherman and…read more

Born Out of Wedlock, Still Out of Luck

by: , May 8, 2017

Should someone be excluded from inheriting from an estate simply because they were born out wedlock? With “a good deal of regret”, Justice Gray of the Superior Court of Justice concluded in Koziarski v. Sullivan that the answer was “yes”… with respect to wills made before March 31, 1978. Jadwiga Koziarski died on February 15, 2016…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

First physician-assisted suicide case in Ontario

by: , April 7, 2016

Much has been written about last month’s physician-assisted suicide decision by Justice Perell of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in B. (A.) v. Canada (Attorney General). Ever since the Supreme Court handed down the historic decision of Carter v. Canada (Attorney General) (previously discussed here), as well as its companion decision delaying implementation for an additional four months while…read more