All About Estates

Diane Vieira

Total 28 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

The Case of the $30,000 Scrapbooks

In what the judge referred to as a “noble gesture”, the deceased ordered that his two scrapbooks setting out his life story be copied and distributed to his family. These instructions were set out in a Codicil to his Will. However, disagreement amongst family members regarding the copying of the…

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Court of Appeal Confirms New Approach to Costs in Estate Litigation

In a recent court of appeal decision, the court upheld the trial judge’s costs award and reiterated the deference allotted to trial judges when exercising discretion to fix costs. In Prelorentzos v. Havaris, the court dismissed the appellant’s appeal.  At trial, the appellant was found to be the deceased’s common…

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Executor Compensation – The Last Chapter

Today’s Blog was Written by Jacob Kaufman The Divisional Court has just written another chapter in the ongoing saga of a dispute between two sisters, Erna and Hilda, who have been in litigation against each other since 2003. Erna had acted as attorney for property of her parents since 2002…

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Calculating Dependant’s Support-A View from the Divisional Court

The background in Quinn vs Carrigan is well known to estate and family law litigators as the parties have been involved in extensive litigation, including two trials and two appeals.  The first trial and its subsequent appeal, which focused on the issue of who is a “spouse” pursuant to the…

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Congratulations-It’s a Girl!

A new study reported on this week found that daughters are significantly more helpful than sons when it comes to taking care of their elderly parents.  Referencing data found from surveying 26,000 Americans, it seems that daughters spend on average 12.3 hours a month looking after an elderly parent versus…

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Trust Created in Holograph Will Fails

A recent Court of Appeal decision from Alberta dealt with the interpretation of a holograph will.  The Court of Appeal upheld a lower court’s decision that the testator intended to create a trust but the trust failed since the objects of the trust were uncertain resulting in an intestacy.  The…

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Rosa Parks’ Estate Tied Up in Litigation as Her Memorabilia Goes to Auction

Almost six years after her death, the estate of civil rights hero Rosa Parks is still being litigated. Court pleadings recently filed with the Michigan Supreme Court reveal details over the fight for control over her estate.

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When to Serve the Public Guardian and Trustee

The Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee has multiple functions and involvement in a diverse range of legal proceedings. Most estate practitioners are familiar with the requirements that the Public Guardian and Trustee be served with applications to appoint guardians of property and person and for court approval of settlements involving a person under a disability. However, there are a number of other statutory requirements that necessitate service on the Public Guardian and Trustee that estate practitioners may be less familar with.

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Newell v. Newell: Full Indemnity Costs Awarded to Both Parties

In Newell v. Newell (2011 ONSC 3228), the court awarded full indemnity costs to both parties to a guardianship dispute, despite the fact that neither party was wholly successful and the application and cross- application had become moot as a result of the death of the incapable mother.

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Downton Abbey and Britain’s Changing Attitudes towards Succession

The internationally acclaimed television series Downton Abbey introduced many people to Britain’s past inheritance laws. The practice of primogeniture is no longer British law but still remains an inheritance model for Britain’s major landowning families. A new survey conducted for Country Life last week, shows an emerging change in succession attitudes to relax the enforcement of the primogeniture model to transfer land and title. Only 16% of the major landowning families surveyed strictly implement the practice of primogeniture.

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