All About Estates

Diane Vieira

Total 26 Posts Website
Diane has practiced in the area of estate, trust and capacity litigation since she was called to the Ontario Bar in 2006. Diane obtained her law degree from Queen’s University after completing an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto. She also recently received the Certificate in Elder Law from Osgoode Hall Law School. She is a member of the Trusts & Estates Section of the Ontario Bar Association, the Advocates’ Society, and the Toronto Lawyers Association. Diane has chaired various continuing legal education programs regarding estate, trust and capacity matters. She can be reached at dvieira@devrieslitigation.com

Allsorts of Potential Problems with Joint Bank Accounts

This blog was written by Ronald Neal, student-at-law at de VRIES LITIGATION LLP. What happens to the money in a joint bank account when one of the joint account owners passes away? Do the funds pass to the surviving joint owner outside of the estate, or do the funds form…

Continue Reading

More than a Suspicion: The Minimal Evidentiary Threshold

A recent Ontario decision, Martin v. Martin [1], considered the minimal evidentiary threshold required to obtain documentary discovery in a will challenge as set out in Seepa v. Seepa.  For further background on Seepa, read Rebecca Studin’s previous blog post on that decision. In Martin, the Applicant (the named Estate…

Continue Reading

Court Set Asides a Release and Orders a Passing of Accounts

An estate trustee may decide to forego passing their accounts because of the associated costs and seek a release from the estate’s beneficiaries instead. However, when the capacity of a beneficiary is in question, a  release may be set aside. In Foisey v. Green, the Public Guardian and Trustee (“PGT”)…

Continue Reading

Removing an Joint Attorney for Property: A High Evidentiary Threshold

Mere disagreement among joint attorneys is not enough to have one attorney removed from their role. A court will defer to the choice of attorney(s) made by the guarantor before they became incapable.  A party requires strong and compelling evidence of misconduct or neglect to remove an attorney. In White…

Continue Reading

Who is Your Substitute Decision-Maker?

Under the Heath Care and Consent Act  (“HCCA”), every person in Ontario has an automatic Substitute Decision-Maker (“SDM”) who can provide or refuse consent to medical treatment if the person becomes incapable of providing consent. However, there is still a great amount of confusion about SDMs and who they are,…

Continue Reading

The Law Commission of Ontario Seeks Public Consultation

The Law Commission of Ontario’s (LCO) Improving the Last Stages of Life project released two final research papers ahead of publishing its consultation paper. The LCO’s project examines how Ontario laws are shaping the quality of life of dying people and how end of life care can be improved in…

Continue Reading

Estate Trustee Awarded Costs for Unnecessary Passing of Accounts

In a recent court decision, Pochopsky Estate, the court found the Deceased’s four children (the “Beneficiaries”) jointly and severally liable for the estate trustee’s costs related to an application compelling him to pass his accounts.  The Beneficiaries had obtained an order compelling the estate trustee to account. The court ultimately…

Continue Reading

LCO Releases Report on Capacity, Decision-making and Guardianship Laws

Last week, the Law Commission of Ontario (“LCO”) released and presented to the provincial government, their final report reviewing Ontario’s statutory framework for legal capacity, decision-making and guardianship matters. The LCO focused on the relevant capacity provisions found in the Health Care Consent Act, the Substitute Decisions Act (“SDA”), and…

Continue Reading

The Case of the $30,000 Scrapbooks

In what the judge referred to as a “noble gesture”, the deceased ordered that his two scrapbooks setting out his life story be copied and distributed to his family. These instructions were set out in a Codicil to his Will. However, disagreement amongst family members regarding the copying of the…

Continue Reading

Court of Appeal Confirms New Approach to Costs in Estate Litigation

In a recent court of appeal decision, the court upheld the trial judge’s costs award and reiterated the deference allotted to trial judges when exercising discretion to fix costs. In Prelorentzos v. Havaris, the court dismissed the appellant’s appeal.  At trial, the appellant was found to be the deceased’s common…

Continue Reading