All About Estates

Karen Watters

Total 8 Posts Website
Karen is a senior estates litigator who represents clients in a variety of proceedings including will challenges, dependant’s relief claims, guardianship applications, and powers of attorney disputes. Karen obtained her law degree from Queen’s University and was called to the Ontario Bar in 2011.

Ordering a Capacity Assessment When it is Resisted

Section 105 of the Courts of Justice Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. C.43 and s. 79 of the Substitute Decisions Act, 1992, S.O. 1992, c. 30 provide the court with authority to order a capacity assessment, even when the individual objects. It is an extraordinary power but not one that is…

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Compensation as Attorney for Personal Care: Guided by Reasonableness and Proportionality

The 2021 decision in Sasso v. Sasso[1] was recently affirmed by the Ontario Court of Appeal. The Sasso case has a few interesting aspects to it but for the purpose of this blog I focus on the claim for compensation which was made by an attorney for personal care. Although…

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Best Gets The Rest: Doctrine of Ademption Alive and Well

In Canada estates and trusts law aims to give effect to a testator’s intentions. This principle is paramount and part of the rationale for the common law doctrine of ademption: if property which is gifted in a will no longer exists at the time of the testator’s death, the gift…

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Is It A Forgery?

Many of us in the estates and trusts world have encountered a situation where a client or party has alleged that a signature or handwritten note is forged. The evidence of a forensic document examiner, or handwriting expert, is sometimes led to assist a party in establishing that the signature…

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Don’t Assume You Can Access Your Money

Litigation can be expensive. At the forefront of the minds of many parties is the question of how to pay the legal costs. Sometimes the money that a party needs (or wants) to access in order to pay for the litigation is at the centre of the dispute. This can…

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Increase In House Value Means $1.4 million Gift to SPCA

For many people who own the house in which they live, their home is the most valuable asset in their estate. In many communities in Canada, house values have steadily increased over the last several years and particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. This means that the value of an estate…

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300 Objections. 3 Week Hearing. $325,000 Costs Award.

Those who practice in the world of estates know that emotions can run high. Estate planning and estate litigation involve relationships and, often, family. And relationships and family are complicated. It can sometimes be hard to be reasonable in the face of difficult emotions. But reasonableness should be a guiding…

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Capacity to Marry: Balancing Autonomy with Protection of the Vulnerable

Capacity to marry is often raised in the context of an allegation of a predatory marriage. But what about when the adult children disapprove of the union and devise a scheme to protect their inheritance from the purported “gold digger”? This was the scenario in the case of Tanti v…

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