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

Cautionary Tales on Digital Estate Asset Planning

by: , March 15, 2021

The Age of Digital Assets  A collage of from the artist Mike Winkelmann, better known as Beeple, has recently sold for $69 million dollars. This marks the first purely digital work of art ever offered by a major auction house. However, what was sold is not art in the traditional sense. There are numerous copies…read more

What is a “Common Law Spouse”?

by: , October 27, 2020

In Canada, every person is afforded certain protections in the event they get divorced. For example, there are statutes in place to help determine how the couple will divide their property and whether one of them is entitled to child support or spousal support (and what amount). However, not every couple in a committed, long-term…read more

What Is a Formal Application to Pass Accounts?

by: , September 28, 2020

Estate trustees, attorneys for property, guardians of property and trustees of a trust (collectively referred to here as “fiduciaries”) are all obligated to keep detailed records, or accounts, of their management of assets. Fiduciaries can be compelled to pass accounts by those with an interest in the trust property or by those with a close…read more

What is a CPL and How Do I Get One?

by: , September 21, 2020

A certificate of pending litigation (commonly referred to as “CPL”) provides notice that a legal proceeding has been commenced questioning the owner’s interest in land. In order to be effective, a CPL must be issued by a court and registered on title to the land in dispute. Once it has been registered on title, a…read more

I do not like the estate trustee/executor – can I get rid of them?

by: , August 10, 2020

Can you apply for the removal of the estate trustee? Section 37(3) of the Trustee Act provides the court with legislative authority to grant an order removing an estate trustee upon the application of: -any executor or administrator desiring to be relieved from the duties of the office, or -any executor or administrator complaining of…read more

How Much Compensation Is An Estate Executor Entitled To?

by: , May 11, 2020

After being appointed as estate trustee or executor of an estate, it can be unclear how much compensation can be claimed for administering the estate. In addition, beneficiaries often object to the amount claimed. How is executor compensation determined? In some cases, the will itself outlines the amount of compensation that may be claimed or…read more

The Revival of Unconscionable Procurement

by: , April 8, 2020

The administrations of some estates simply do not move forward smoothly. The Elias Gefen estate is one such estate. In Gefen v. Gaertner, 2019 ONSC 6015, Justice Kimmel addressed multiple issues which had stopped the administration from moving forward, ranging from mutual wills to secret trust agreements. Justice Kimmel also applied, for the first time…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

A Judge’s Three Tips to Improve Scheduling Appointments

by: , November 26, 2015

I had the privilege of hearing the Honourable Justice Thomas McEwen of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice speak at The Advocates’ Society’s Estates Litigation Networking Reception on November 23, 2015. Justice McEwen sits in Toronto and is currently the Civil Team Leader. Justice McEwen noted that the system of 9:30 a.m. scheduling appointments on the…read more