All About Estates

Justin de Vries

Total 39 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

What’s My Share?

Gail Evans died intestate on July 30, 1992.  She was survived by her two sons from a first marriage, Richard and Donald, and by her second husband, Carlton.  Carlton was the administrator (i.e. estate trustee) of Gail’s estate.  The parties agreed Carlton was entitled to a preferential share of $75,000…

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Love in the Age of Expectation

In two cases decided in 2010, the Court considered whether it was appropriate for an attorney for property to pay herself for care services provided to an aging parent

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Ontario Court of Appeal Considers When is a Gift Not a Gift

In McNamee v. McNamee, the Court of Appeal reviewed the essential ingredients of a legally valid gift. The issue on appeal was whether 500 common shares in the family business, which had been transferred to Mr. McNamee Jr. constituted a gift for the purposes of s. 4(2) of the Family Law Act.

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Man vs. Beast

The testator disinherited her only son who was 51 years old and suffered from Hepatitis C. The son sought an order that adequate provision be made for his proper maintenance and support from his mother’s estate. A good discussion of the principles of dependant support.

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Lord Denning – A Giant among Judges with more than 2000 Cases Reported

Lord Denning has been called the most celebrated judge of the 20th century.

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Court of Appeal delivers pyrrhic victory on costs to appellant in Smith Estate; otherwise dismisses appeal

Last week, the Court of Appeal delivered its judgment in Smith v. Rotstein. The decision appealed from was a summary judgment under old Rule 20 dismissing Ms. Rotstein’s will challenge.

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Court of Appeal Affirms “Good Sense” of Excluding Evidence of Testator’s Intentions

Yesterday, the Ontario Court of Appeal released its decision in Robinson Estate. The decision acknowledged the trend in Canadian jurisprudence towards admitting extrinsic evidence of the testator’s circumstances and those surrounding the making of the will. However, the Court found that it was not open to the application judge to determine Blanca’s intention based on evidence from third parties about her testamentary intentions.

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Change of Circumstance Defence

What happens when an estate trustee distributes money to the wrong beneficiary or distributes the wrong amount?

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Zero Compensation Awarded to Estate Trustee in Watson Estate

How much compensation should be awarded to an estate trustee who has breached her duty of honesty and utmost good faith, was prepared to simply cut a cheque to pay out a claim against the estate without any investigation into its merits, and was prepared to use the threat of destroying the testator’s beloved pets as a means to try to extract benefits for her friends and herself?

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Estates do not have Lawyers

When a solicitor is advising on estate administration, who does the solicitor and client privilege belong to?

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