All About Estates

Joanna Lindenberg

Total 26 Posts
Joanna is an experienced estates, trusts, and capacity litigator at de VRIES LITIGATION LLP. Joanna obtained her law degree from the Shulich School of Law at Dalhousie University after completing a Bachelor of Arts degree at McGill University. Following her call to the Ontario Bar in June 2011, Joanna obtained a Masters of Law at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), specializing in international and comparative law. Joanna's current practice focuses on, in part, will challenges, dependant’s support, capacity, and power of attorney disputes.

RESPs, Trusts, and You

A Registered Education Savings Plan (“RESP”) is a cost-effective way of saving money for a child’s future post-secondary education. The concept of the RESP raises the question of who actually owns the funds therein. Is it the parent who contributes to the RESP (the “subscriber”) or the child for whom…

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The Law of Assent

he recent case of Re Assaly deals with a unique intersection between estates and bankruptcy law and squarely addresses the law of assent. In this case, the estate trustee paid funds in trust to counsel for a bankrupt beneficiary and adult child of the deceased (the “Bankrupt”), on the condition…

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Testamentary Capacity and Expert Reports

As many well know, issues relating to testamentary capacity are often at the forefront of estate litigation cases and in particular, will challenges. Drafting solicitors may opt to obtain a contemporaneous capacity assessment before their clients execute a last will and testament; this may be the case where the testator…

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Taking the Extra Steps

Verifying the capacity of a testator prior to him or her executing a will is essential, and the test for testamentary capacity is well known to drafting solicitors and estate litigators. In particular, Banks v. Goodfellow provides that a person executing a will: (1) shall understand the nature of the…

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Capacity to Retain and Instruct Counsel

Estate litigation cases often impact upon persons who are incapable. In particular, an individual may be incapable of, among other things, managing their property or personal care, of making a will (testamentary capacity) and of retaining and/or instructing counsel. The recent case of Guardian Law Group v. LS, 2021 (“Guardian”)…

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Limitation Periods and Fraudulent Concealment

Missing a limitation period can be highly detrimental to any case. But, what happens when the party simply does not know he or she has a claim, as a result of the conduct of another? This issue, among others, was addressed in the recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision, Beaudoin…

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No Costs For You!

The recent case of Donovan v. MacKenzie, 2021 ONSC 1865 (CanLII) demonstrates the wide and sometimes unpredictable nature of a judge’s discretion when it comes to costs. In this guardianship dispute, the applicant sister (“Jacqueline”) and the respondent brother (“Kieran”) were embroiled in litigation relating to their father, John Kenneth…

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The Role of the PGT – When, Why and How?

While estate lawyers are often presented with files that impact upon the rights of an incapable person, it is important to understand when, why and how the Public Guardian and Trustee (the “PGT”) becomes involved with such disputes. As noted on its website, and in general, the PGT acts as…

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Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way

Can a suicide note be a valid holograph will? Maybe, and it depends upon where you live. The Ontario case of McGrath v. Joy, which decision was released at the end of 2020, dealt with whether a suicide note was a valid holograph will. My colleague, Rebecca Studin, recently blogged…

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Big New Rules for Small Estates

The law in Canada is not static – it evolves and changes to meet our society’s needs through incremental changes to the common law (i.e. the application and interpretation of the law through the courts) and through legislative changes. One recent change to Ontario’s laws was made through the Smarter…

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