All About Estates

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Court of Appeal Upholds Testamentary Freedom

Today’s blog is written by guest blogger Adam Parachin, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law at the University of Western Ontario.

The Ontario Court of Appeal has released its decision in Spence Estate (Re) 2016 ONCA 196. In reversing the lower court holding of Justice Gilmore, the Court of Appeal confirmed – wait for it – that testators are not obligated to benefit the persons they are not obligated to benefit. The most astounding feature of the judgment is that it was necessary in the first place.

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Testamentary Freedom & The Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Today’s blog is written by William Lim, a law student at Western University and research assistant to Professor Adam Parachin, associate professor of law at Western University. As discussed in a recent blog by Professor Adam Parachin, the Court in McCorkill v. Streed 2014 NBQB 148 took the unusual step…

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Elder Care Planning

A recent Ipsos-Reid report found older Canadians lack confidence in the health-care system’s ability to provide for seniors in the future. With the aging population and strains on the various government systems and agencies for seniors, elder care planning is becoming more crucial. The shift in the demographics of our…

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New Intestacy Rules in the UK

As a common law jurisdiction with our roots in the United Kingdom it is understandable we have an interest in what happens “across the pond”. The UK has recently updated their inheritance laws and made large changes to their intestacy laws. Normally we look to the UK for changes but…

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Promise to Bequeath and Dependant Support Claims

In 2012 Justice Tausendfreund found a deceased had made a promise to bequeath his farm and cottage to his grandsons provided they worked on the properties for him which the grandfather did not do. After trial Justice Tausendfreund ordered the properties be conveyed to the grandsons in fulfilment of that…

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LCO Simplified Procedure for Small Estates project

Yesterday the Law Commission of Ontario released its Consultation Paper in its Simplified Procedures for Small Estates project (a project I with other members of the bar have been involved with). The Simplified Procedures for Small Estates project is looking at whether a simplified process for the administration (i.e. probate)…

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How to Get Other Pockets to the Table: Adding Parties And Dependant’s Support

Can individuals who may have an obligation to support a person making a dependant’s support claim against an estate be added as parties to the support claim? That was the question before the court in Brash v. Zyma. The short answer? Yes. In 2012, Charles Douglas Brash died. At the…

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Changes to the Rules of Professional Conduct

On October 1 the new Rules of Professional Conduct come into effect. As well as rule changes affecting the practice of law generally, there are also specific rule changes relevant to lawyers practising estates and trusts. The new rule 3.4-37 requires a lawyer who drafts a will containing a clause…

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Insolvent Estates – Administration Options

An emerging trend in estate administration in the past few years seems to be an increase in the number of insolvent estates. An estate is insolvent if it has liabilities in excess of its assets and therefore is unable to meet financial obligations with creditors as the debts become due….

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New Brunswick Court Strikes Unconditional Bequest

Today’s post is written by guest blogger Adam Parachin, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Western Ontario. In a recent decision – McCorkill v. Streed 2014 NBQB 148 – the New Brunswick Court of Queen’s Bench took the highly unusual step of striking an unconditionalresiduary bequest on the…

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