All About Estates

Diane Vieira

Total 40 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 received the Certificate in Elder Law from Osgoode Hall Law School. She is a member of the Ontario Bar Association 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

Children are not Chattels: Who Cares for a Child when a Primary Caregiver Dies?

In Marshall vs. Snow, the court was asked to determine who should be awarded primary custody of a minor child following the death of her mother (the child’s primary caregiver). Prior to the mother’s death, the child’s father and mother shared joint custody but not equal parenting time or decision-making rights…

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The Importance of Independent Witnesses in a Will Challenge

Di Nunzio vs Di Nunzio reminds us of the standard of evidence required in a will challenge. The testator made a new will in 2017 (the “2017 Will’).  The 2017 Will was made while the testator was in palliative care and she retained a new lawyer to assist her to…

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Passing of Accounts when the Grantor is Presumed Capable

In Winkler v. Thompson, the court considered whether a niece who held a power of attorney for property for her uncle (the “Deceased”) but insisted that she never acted in a fiduciary capacity for the Deceased should have to pass her accounts. The Deceased was survived by his estranged spouse…

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The Court of Appeal Considers if an Application for Retroactive Support can be brought against an Estate

In Blacklock v. Tkacz, the Ontario Court of Appeal confirmed that pursuant to section 17 of the Divorce Act, an application cannot be brought to claim or vary a child support order against a deceased’s payor’s estate if the original support order does not explicitly bind the payor’s estate. The Appellant…

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Audio Recordings in a Guardianship Application; Think Twice Before Pressing Record

In the recent guardianship case, Rudin-Brown v. Brown, the court considered whether to admit into evidence recordings made of an incapable adult’s telephone conversations. Carolyn was found to be incapable in 2018.  In 2016, Carolyn signed new power of attorney documents for personal care and property (“2016 Powers of Attorney”)…

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Removing an Estate Trustee: More Than a Feeling

In Viertelhausen v Viertelhausen, the court dismissed an application to remove the estate trustee due to lack of evidence of a true conflict of interest. The deceased, Bote, died without a will. His brother, Bill, obtained a certificate of appointment of estate trustee without a will. The applicant, Teresa (a…

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Who Can Be a Litigation Guardian?

A recent decision by Master Kaufman examines whether a person with a personal interest in the legal proceedings can act as a litigation guardian for a party under a disability. In Shady Saleh v. Mohammed Salehe, the plaintiff, Shady, was his mother’s power of attorney for property. He sought to…

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Trustees Ordered to Pay Costs Personally

In a recent court decision, the court declined to order costs payable from a modest estate and instead ordered the two parties (both trustees) to pay costs personally. A testamentary trustee, Mr. Cardinal, brought an application to compel estate trustee, Mrs. Perreault, to pass her accounts in her capacity as…

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Estate Trustee Removed for Conflict of Interest

A recent New Brunswick case provides a thoughtful analysis on the removal of estate trustees (referred to as Estate Administrators in New Brunswick). In his will, the testator had named his sister as his estate trustee.  The beneficiaries of his estate were his two children and his brother, Yves.  However,…

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Court Orders Minor’s Funds be Paid into Court

Court declined to pay minor’s funds to parent; ordered proceeds of sale paid into court.

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