All About Estates

Category: Estate Litigation

Total 177 Posts

It’s All About The Benjamin Orders

Did William die? If so, when? These were the central issues addressed in Steele v. Smith, 2018 ONSC 4601. There, the Court had to consider whether the estate trustee of William’s sister’s estate should receive a “Benjamin Order”, permitting the estate trustee to distribute the residue of her estate as if…

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My Summer Vacation

One of my favorite routines on my annual summer vacation is to read the local news. Regular readers of this Blog may not be surprised that the story which caught my eye this summer was about an Estate.   Richard M. Grant, a life-long farmer, known as the “The Corn King”…

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Death, Delay, and Dismissal

There are numerous technical traps a lawsuit can fall into which will need to be corrected before the matter moves forward. Generally speaking, the current norms of practice are for the parties to sort out any technical deficiencies between themselves so court time can be devoted to arguing the substantive…

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Support, Shoes and Social Media

How much interim dependant support is too much? When can interim legal fees be ordered? And can young people be stopped from posting on Instagram? Justice Pattillo had to consider these question in Zavet v. Herzog, 2018 ONSC 3398. The deceased, a wealthy real estate developer behind many of Toronto’s…

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Limitation Periods – Not Available to Everyone

One of the first steps following the death of a loved one is to go through their paperwork. You never know what you will find – handwritten wills, love letters, bank statements, or written agreements confirming that the deceased is owed money. If the estate is owed funds, it is…

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Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) and Undue Influence

In 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada held that the ban on Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) was unconstitutional (for a summary of the decision, click here). However, MAiD is not available to all persons; to qualify, a person requesting MAiD must have a grievous and irremediable medical condition including…

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Trust and (Mis)Communication in Families

There is a recurrent theme that I continue to see in my elder care work with families. It involves a breakdown in communication that has likely started sometime ago. As a result of this miscommunication, the trusting relationship that I would like to be believe originally existed there, has been…

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The Cost of Winning, Sort of….

In my practice, I have been engaged on valuation matters which, on occasion despite the efforts of all those involved, go to trial to have a trial judge settle for the parties. Most trials are expensive and the actual outcome is not always certain, no matter how strong one side…

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An Intriguing Will Challenge

In Koster v. Koster, the Deceased’s nieces and nephews challenged his last will on the grounds of undue influence. There is nothing unusual about a will challenge in these circumstances, the Deceased was a very wealthy man who changed his will in the twilight years of his life. What was…

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Chapter Two in the Family Farm Saga

The case of John the Farmer (which I had previously blogged about) is now under appeal. John  is seeking to overturn the ruling that he had to vacate the family farm so it could be sold on the open market. A judge rejected John’s request to stay the lower court’s…

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