All About Estates

Gillian Fournie

Total 59 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

Estate Trustee Compensation – Discretionary Factors

Estate trustees are entitled to seek compensation for their work. Unless an exception applies, the court will exercise its discretion to determine the amount.

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Life Interest or Licence to Use?

A person’s house is often their most valuable assets – both monetarily and emotionally. As a result, testators tend to put a lot of thought into who, and how, they wish to leave their house. However, as is always the case, best laid plans often go awry. One example of this, explored in the 2022 Court of Appeal of Ontario decision Barsoski Estate v Wesley, is when it is unclear whether the will gifts someone with a life interest in the house or a licence to use the property.

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Evidence of Contempt – More than Hearsay

If alleging contempt, more than hearsay evidence is required.

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Affidavit Evidence – A Refresher

Motions and applications rely on affidavit evidence – written statements sworn under oath. This is in contrast to actions, where evidence is provided by live witnesses who are examined or cross-examined in court (this is what you see on TV dramas). Relying on affidavit evidence translates into less time spent…

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Proving Charitable Purposes

Charitable purpose trusts are given special status in the law. While most other types of trusts must have a clear end date, charitable purpose trusts may live forever. All other types of trusts have to have specific and defined beneficiaries, yet charitable purpose trusts may exist in order to further…

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Disclosure of a Party’s Medical Records

In will challenges, it is common to seek the disclosure of the testator’s medical records for the period around the time the will was signed. The medical records are directly relevant to the question of whether or not she had the requisite capacity to sign the will. While the testator…

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Potential Cost of Witnessing a Will

Across Canada, the provinces have built safeguards against undue influence into their law regulating wills: if the witness or the witness’ spouse receives a gift of property under the will, that gift is void. Unfortunately, this rule has the potential to disinherit innocent beneficiaries who unwittingly agree to act as witnesses to the will. This was the situation before the Supreme Court of British Columbia in Wolk v Wolk, 2021 BCSC 1881.

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To Fight at Any Cost

Lawsuits often put litigants on an emotional rollercoaster. As the lawsuit progresses and legal bills pile up, some clients start caring less about strategy and more about causing maximum pain to the other side. However, abandoning reason and moderation has a cost – usually in the form of a cost…

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Changing Beneficiary Designations

Changing a beneficiary designation is as simple as writing it down.

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MAID Update – Bill C-7

The senate has passed Bill C-7, which introduces changes to Canada’s Criminal Code provisions regulating MAID. The changes will create a new, two-track system for applying for MAID.

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