All About Estates

Justin de Vries

Total 41 Posts Website
Justin has been consistently named as one of the Best Lawyers in Canada/Trusts & Estates. He is an accomplished litigator who has appeared before all levels of the Ontario Court & the Federal Court of Canada. Justin's areas of expertise include: estate, trust, and capacity litigation, as well as probate applications and estate administration. He regularly speaks on estate, trust and capacity issues. Email: jdevries@devrieslitigation.com

Celebrity Estates – Not Immune from the Trials and Tribulations of Estate Planning and Litigation

With TIFF in full swing, celebrity worship is in overdrive. However, celebrities also deal with the mundane and there is often nothing glamorous about their estates. In fact, like the rest of us mere mortals, celebrities do not have a lock on getting things right. So often, there is so…

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The Space Between First and Second Families

Neil Armstrong’s first and second family have competing visions for his legacy and administration of his estate.

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Sealing One’s Fate: The Sherman Murders, Probate and Perseverance

On June 18, 2018, Justice Dunphy made ex parte orders sealing the court files relating to the Sherman Estates. On catching wind of the sealing orders, the Toronto Star, and one of its reporters, Kevin Donovan, brought a motion to terminate the sealing orders. They succeeded on appeal.

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To Remove or Not to Remove… That is the Question (with apologies to the bard)

Estates tell a million stories and the case of Ford v Mazman, 2019 ONSC 542, is just one of them. Mary died on April 3, 2017. Mary’s 2004 Will named her two nieces, Laura and Carleen, as sole beneficiaries. Mary appointed her close friend, Seta, as her estate trustee/executor. Laura…

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Not So Fast – Who Controls the Body?

“He knows where the bodies are buried” is a throwaway line from Orson Wells’ cinematic masterpiece, Citizen Kane. That line soon took on a life of its own and entered the cultural vernacular. In the world of estates, a more frequent problem is not finding the bodies but deciding where…

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A Roadblock for Multiple Wills

Today’s blog was written by Justin W. de Vries and Jacob Kaufman A will need not be probated. The power of an estate trustee derives from the will itself. However, in certain cases, a grant of probate (now awkwardly called a certificate of appointment of estate trustee with a will)…

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Space Oddity: Why One of the Original Moonwalkers is Having to Sue his Children

This blog was written by Ronald Neal, student-at-law at de VRIES LITIGATION LLP. Even those with the “right stuff” are not immune to elder abuse.  Such is the apparent case with Buzz Aldrin, a retired astronaut, lunar module pilot, and engineer who is now finding himself in the midst of…

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The Utility (or lack thereof) of Extrinsic Evidence When Interpreting a Will

This blog is written by Ronald Neal, student-at-law. Can one rely on extrinsic evidence (i.e. evidence that relates to a will but is not contained in it) to establish the intentions of a testator? This was a question recently considered by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Campbell v. Evert [1]….

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The Litigator’s Holiday Medley

It is that time of year again… “the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” as that well-loved refrain goes.  Lawyers and other professionals can get awfully serious about what they do when it comes to estate planning, litigation, and administration.  So in an attempt to offer some levity in this…

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When is a Minor a Major or Super Minor and What Does it Mean?

At law, a child under the age of 18 is considered a party under disability (i.e. a “minor”).  As a result, a minor is treated somewhat differently by the courts.  For example, a minor must be represented by a court appointed litigation guardian in civil court proceedings.  In addition, limitation…

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