Is it a Will?

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

The answer to this question depends on (i) the legal requirements regarding the formalities for making a Will and, (ii) when those requirements are not met, whether the court with jurisdiction over the Will is able to follow the doctrine of “substantial compliance”. In Ontario, in order for a Will to ...

What’s Done is Done?

Monday, July 7th, 2014

As a lawyer whose area of expertise is estate planning I am often asked about “simple” strategies to avoid or reduce the amount of probate taxes that may be payable on an individual’s death. (Probate is the process to confirm the validity of an individual’s Will. It is not ...

Reaffirmation of Testamentary Freedom in Ontario

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

A recent decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal, Verch Estate v. Weckwerth, reaffirms the autonomy of Ontario testators to distribute their estates as they wish provided that their statutory obligations are fulfilled. In this case, which was brought to my attention by a post on Lynne Butler’s Estate Law Canada ...