The ETDL and You

by: , April 25, 2022

Estate litigation cases often deal with multifaceted issues where family members feud about a variety of matters. Will challenges, dependant relief applications and passings of accounts are a few of the types of disputes which result in extensive, protracted and lengthy litigation. In such circumstances, parties often look to appoint an estate trustee during litigation…read more

“Separated” Spouses and Intestacy

by: , February 28, 2022

The law is constantly evolving and being refined. Most recently, a provision was added to Part II of the Succession Law Reform Act (the “SLRA”), which deals with how an estate is to be distributed when there is no will. In particular, on January 1, 2022, section 43.1 was amended to add that there is…read more

Estate Trustee Compensation

by: , December 6, 2021

An estate trustee is entitled to compensation for work performed in that capacity on behalf of an estate. Subject to any fee or compensation agreement, the general rule in Ontario is that an estate trustee is entitled to compensation in the amounts of 2.5% of all capital receipts and disbursements, and 2.5% of all revenue…read more

Supreme Court of Canada Unseals Sherman Probate Files

by: , July 7, 2021

On June 11, 2021, the Supreme Court of Canada released its highly-anticipated decision in Sherman Estate v. Donovan, in which the Court ordered that the Sherman probate files be unsealed. In its ruling, the Supreme Court of Canada affirmed the open-court principle and freedom of the press as fundamental pillars of Canadian democracy. Background The…read more

What Does it Mean to Have Capacity?

by: , June 14, 2021

Legal capacity can be a difficult concept to understand. For those who are concerned about a loved one’s ability to care for herself or to make financial decisions, the answer to the question of whether their loved one has capacity may seem obvious. Forgetfulness, confusion, and even mild dementia are often viewed as indicative of…read more

20 Notable Cases of 2020

by: , April 25, 2021

It’s that time of year again. Birds are singing, trees are blossoming, and spring is just around the corner. With 2020 fully in the rear-view mirror, now is the perfect time for a review of 20 notable cases decided in that year. (Okay, it’s technically 23 cases, but who’s counting?) The Sherman Estate trilogy: Our…read more

If My Spouse Died Without a Will, Do I Inherit the Whole Estate?

by: , April 19, 2021

When a person dies without a Will, or “intestate”, the division of that person’s estate in Ontario is governed by the Succession Law Reform Act (“SLRA”). When a legally married (not cohabiting) spouse dies without a Will, the surviving spouse does not necessarily inherit all of the estate under the SLRA. The distribution depends on…read more

New Amendments to Increase Amount Payable to Parents of Minors Without Guardianship Appointment

by: , February 24, 2021

Under Ontario law, a child cannot receive money owed to them (such as from an inheritance) until reaching the age of majority. Moreover, a parent cannot receive money owed to a child without obtaining a court order appointing the parent as the child’s guardian for property. However, s. 51(1.1) of the Children’s Law Reform Act (“CLRA”) provides…read more

Electronic Filing of Probate Applications

by: , October 13, 2020

This blog was written by Tyler Lin, student-at-law at de VRIES LITIGATION LLP Effective October 6, 2020, probate applications in Ontario can be filed by e-mail to the Ontario Superior Court at this link.[1] As you might already be aware, a probate application is the court procedure by which a will is proven to be…read more

Ten Things You Need to Know Before Challenging a Will

by: , July 14, 2020

The death of a loved one is a painful experience. The loss can become all the more difficult to accept for a potential beneficiary who had an expectation of receiving an inheritance under the deceased’s Will, but instead receives less than expected or nothing at all. The disappointed beneficiary may feel compelled to challenge the…read more