All About Estates

Diane Vieira

Total 30 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 also recently received the Certificate in Elder Law from Osgoode Hall Law School. She is a member of the Trusts & Estates Section of the Ontario Bar Association, the Advocates’ Society, 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

Divisional Court Sets Aside Decision Ordering a Passing of Accounts

In Foisey v. Green, the Divisional Court allowed an appeal of the application judge’s decision that set aside a release signed by a beneficiary who was later deemed incapable of managing property. I previously wrote about the earlier  decision that was under appeal. The appellant, Ms. Green, was an estate…

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In Whose Best Interests? Estate Planning for Artists

A recent case involving the estate of Canadian artist and figure skating legend, Toller Cranston (“Toller”), highlights the importance of estate planning for artists.  Administering posthumous intellectual property can be complex and without guidance from the testator, disputes will often arise between trustees and the estate’s beneficiaries due to competing…

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Whose Land Is It Anyways? Friends of Toronto Public Cemeteries v. Mount Pleasant Group of Cemeteries

In a recent decision that pitted a Toronto citizens’ group against cemetery operators, Justice Dunphy found that the cemeteries were publically owned, required public oversight, and were operating beyond the terms of the trust that govern the cemeteries. In 1826, a group sought to buy land to create a non-denominational…

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Summary Judgment and Limitation Periods in the Context of Estate Litigation

Today’s blog was co-written by Ronald Neal. In Sinclair v Harris, Justice Nakatsuru granted summary judgment on the basis that the claims advanced on behalf of the estate were statute-barred. The deceased passed away in November 2015.  The Plaintiffs are the estate trustees appointed in the deceased’s will (the “Estate Trustees”).  Five years…

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Allsorts of Potential Problems with Joint Bank Accounts

This blog was written by Ronald Neal, student-at-law at de VRIES LITIGATION LLP. What happens to the money in a joint bank account when one of the joint account owners passes away? Do the funds pass to the surviving joint owner outside of the estate, or do the funds form…

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More than a Suspicion: The Minimal Evidentiary Threshold

A recent Ontario decision, Martin v. Martin [1], considered the minimal evidentiary threshold required to obtain documentary discovery in a will challenge as set out in Seepa v. Seepa.  For further background on Seepa, read Rebecca Studin’s previous blog post on that decision. In Martin, the Applicant (the named Estate…

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Court Set Asides a Release and Orders a Passing of Accounts

An estate trustee may decide to forego passing their accounts because of the associated costs and seek a release from the estate’s beneficiaries instead. However, when the capacity of a beneficiary is in question, a  release may be set aside. In Foisey v. Green, the Public Guardian and Trustee (“PGT”)…

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Removing an Joint Attorney for Property: A High Evidentiary Threshold

Mere disagreement among joint attorneys is not enough to have one attorney removed from their role. A court will defer to the choice of attorney(s) made by the guarantor before they became incapable.  A party requires strong and compelling evidence of misconduct or neglect to remove an attorney. In White…

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Who is Your Substitute Decision-Maker?

Under the Heath Care and Consent Act  (“HCCA”), every person in Ontario has an automatic Substitute Decision-Maker (“SDM”) who can provide or refuse consent to medical treatment if the person becomes incapable of providing consent. However, there is still a great amount of confusion about SDMs and who they are,…

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The Law Commission of Ontario Seeks Public Consultation

The Law Commission of Ontario’s (LCO) Improving the Last Stages of Life project released two final research papers ahead of publishing its consultation paper. The LCO’s project examines how Ontario laws are shaping the quality of life of dying people and how end of life care can be improved in…

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