Considering an Appeal: final versus interlocutory orders

by: , June 27, 2022

Why does it Matter? Determining whether an order is final or interlocutory is important for litigators considering the proper avenue of appeal. In Ontario, appellate jurisdiction is distributed to two courts. A final order of a Superior Court Justice is appealable to the Court of Appeal as of right, and an interlocutory order is appealable…read more

Ontario Welcomes New Tort of Family Violence

by: , May 2, 2022

Dear Readers, You may remember my previous blog of February 2021, where Ontario welcomed the new tort of internet harassment. The recognition of new common law torts is not an everyday occurrence. Coincidentally, a year later, in February of 2022 Ontario welcomed another new tort: the tort of family violence. After an intensive 11-day trial,…read more

Can Secret Recordings be Effective Evidence in Litigation?

by: , September 27, 2021

In estate litigation, the practice of making secret or surreptitious recordings is not uncommon. It’s not unusual for tape recorders to be hidden around the home, or for phone calls to be recorded without the consent or knowledge of the other party. This begs three questions: (1) What do judges actually think of this practice?…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

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