“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

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

Do You Need A Lawyer to Make a Will?

by: , July 22, 2013

Among the general public, there is a perception that despite being a legal document, creating a will does not require the services of an estate solicitor.  There are numerous do-it yourself kits and online services that offer a “fill in the blanks” approach to creating a will.  As an estate litigator, I usually see when…read more

Powers of Attorney – Ensuring Access to a Loved One

by: , December 28, 2008

In our rapidly aging society, powers of attorney for personal care and property are now widespread and their importance is recognized by the general public. A family member or friend can also apply to the court to be appointed guardian of the person or the person’s property if powers of attorney have not been executed. …read more