All About Estates

Category: Testamentary Capacity

Total 15 Posts

Capacity Assessments and Biases to Beware of

Capacity assessments regarding capacity to manage property, testamentary capacity or capacity to appoint a power of attorney for property (POA), whether conducted contemporaneously or retrospectively, rely upon whatever materials/information that is provided to an assessor to review. Materials may include relevant medical records, previous wills and POA documents, interview of…

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The Ten D’s of Geriatric Psychiatry

In my consulting work, I have provided independent medical/legal assessments of seniors regarding capacity to sign powers of attorney, capacity to manage property and personal care, capacity to marry, capacity to provide instructions, capacity to provide evidence and both retrospective and contemporaneous assessments of testamentary capacity and capacity to provide…

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QUALIFIED DISABILITY TRUST (“QDT”): HOW TO FILE A JOINT ELECTION?

Recently, the Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) issued a “how to file” the joint election for a trust to be a QDT: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pbg/tf/t3qdt/README.html From 2016 forward, this form is to be used if one or more beneficiaries are jointly electing that the trust be designated to be QDT for the year….

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Dementia does not Preclude Testamentary Capacity

Unhappy beneficiaries often challenge the validity of a loved one’s will on the grounds that the testator lacked the capacity to execute a will. Applicants use evidence of the testator’s dementia or Alzheimer’s disease (and other mental disorders) to establish that the testator lacked capacity to execute a will. However,…

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Limited Retainers, Lawyer Liability and Limitation Periods

The recent Court of Appeal (“ONCA”) decision of Meehan v. Good, 2017 ONCA 103 (“Meehan”), reminds lawyers that the duty of care owed to their clients is extensive, and may operate beyond a limited-scope retainer. In Meehan, the plaintiffs, Michael and Anne Meehan, brought a claim against their lawyer, John…

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Capacity Issues – who are you going to call?

Capacity to grant and revoke a power of attorney (POA) for property and personal care and incapacity to manage property and personal care is defined by legislation in Ontario by the Substitute Decisions Act. However testamentary capacity (capacity to make a will) is not defined by provincial legislation. Assessors from the…

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POA for Property: A Marriage Sometimes Not Made in Heaven!

In my ALLABOUTESTATES blogs, I have been writing about unanticipated consequences of appointing a power of attorney (POA) for property as per the Ontario Substitute Decisions Act[i] (SDA). Despite the apparent benefits for seniors to have a POA for property, nonetheless unanticipated problems include; Mistaken assumptions by both grantors and…

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Will Challenges and the Well – Acquainted Lawyer

Today’s blog was written by Jenna Ward, Articling Student, Fasken Martineau DuMoulin. A recent case of the Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan has emphasized the significance of first, the relationship between a testator and his or her lawyer and second, the experience and tenure of such lawyer in assessing testamentary…

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Robots are Judging You

The legal test for testamentary capacity is well-established in Ontario. In making a determination of whether or not an individual had the capacity to make a will, the evidence of a certified capacity assessor is often given great deal of weight. However, scientific developments have led to a new type of assessor of a person’s…

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Deceased’s Will So Hateful it is Suspicious

When WW finally received a copy of her father’s will, after more than a year of chasing her father’s second wife to produce it, she read these words: I have equally considered my two children and leave them absolutely nothing. [WW] is entirely without morality and who ‘did not know’…

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