All About Estates

Gillian Fournie

Total 30 Posts Website
Gillian is a lawyer with de VRIES LITIGATION LLP. Her practice focuses on the area of trusts and estates litigation. gfournie@devrieslitigation.com

Charitable Donations – What Do You Get in Return?

Each December, we are reminded that this is the season of giving. As we are encouraged to lend our support to worthy causes, it is helpful to understand the extent to which donors can control the use of their funds and oversee the direction of a charitable project. Meddling in…

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Unexpected Death? Apply for an Extension

Death is difficult to control. It has also proved impossible to avoid. However, married spouses are given greater options than the rest of us – they can choose to inherit their deceased partner’s estate under the Succession Law Reform Act or the Family Law Act. When a married spouse dies…

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CRA Keeps A-Knockin’ (and Can Come In)

Estate trustees be warned: you may be held personally liable for failure to pay the estate’s taxes and/or the tax arrears of the deceased. When estate trustees are advised of this fact by their lawyers, pains are taken to soften the blow. CRA tends to be more blunt. Following the…

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Death, Delay, and Dismissal

There are numerous technical traps a lawsuit can fall into which will need to be corrected before the matter moves forward. Generally speaking, the current norms of practice are for the parties to sort out any technical deficiencies between themselves so court time can be devoted to arguing the substantive…

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Limitation Periods – Not Available to Everyone

One of the first steps following the death of a loved one is to go through their paperwork. You never know what you will find – handwritten wills, love letters, bank statements, or written agreements confirming that the deceased is owed money. If the estate is owed funds, it is…

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Privacy, the Rule of Law, and Apotex Inc.

The “rule of law” is a defining feature of western democracies. Briefly described, it is the insistence that all government action be based in law, and is contrasted with acts of tyranny, dictatorship, and arbitrary exercises of power. The central role that the rule of law plays in Canadian society…

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Domestic Contracts After Death

Interesting things happen when family law and estates collide. Battles over domestic contracts and houses lead to discussions of past mistakes, life experience, and occupation rent. Such was the case in Psarros Estate v Cook. As with many estates litigation cases, the Court was asked to determine a broad range…

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Capacity to Contract – The Settlement Edition

Capable adults are free to enter into a contract with one another. Once entered into, the contract is binding on the parties (exceptions apply) and they may ask the court for assistance enforcing the terms of the contract. Different rules apply to contracts entered into by minors (in Ontario, the…

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Lost Wills – More Complicated than Losing Your Keys

Nobody is perfect – sometimes you lose your keys. Other times you lose your will. The problem is, by the time your estate trustee realizes the will is gone, you won’t be around to help look for it. The inability to find a testator’s will does not automatically result in…

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The Living Hands that Control the Graves

As a law student, my trust law professor brought in a “dead hand” to help us remember the rule against perpetuities. The prop was effective: I have not forgotten that the rule stops trust property from being governed indefinitely from “beyond the grave.” While principles of trust law helpfully prevent…

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