All About Estates

Rebecca Studin

Total 38 Posts Website
Rebecca Studin was called to the Bar in 2009. Before joining de VRIES LITIGATION LLP, Rebecca practised estates and commercial litigation at a full-service international law firm in Toronto. Rebecca’s estates experience includes will interpretation applications, will rectification applications, solicitor’s negligence actions, and other estates and trusts matters. Rebecca obtained her law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School after earning her honours bachelor of arts degree from Glendon College, York University. Following her call to the Bar, Rebecca was selected as a Fox Scholar and spent a year training as a barrister at the Middle Temple, Inns of Court, in London, UK. More of Rebecca's blogs can be found at https://devrieslitigation.com/author/rstudin/

When Will an Estate Trustee Be Personally Liable for Costs?

In Herold Estate v. Curve Lake First Nation, the Court of Appeal for Ontario varied a costs award to provide that an estate trustee be personally liable for costs. In July 2014, the Estate of William Albin Herald (the “Estate”) commenced an application claiming ownership of certain islands in the…

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The End of Zoom Wills?

In order for a Will to be valid, the testator must sign in the document in the presence of two witnesses. During the COVID lockdown, numerous jurisdictions, including Ontario, enacted emergency legislation permitting the virtual or video commissioning of Wills. These measures enabled the testator’s signature on the Will to…

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Can a Disbarred Lawyer be an Executor?

In Re James Estate, 2023 ONSC 6432, the Court considered whether a disbarred lawyer could act as the estate trustee of an estate.

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Can a Revoked Will Be Revived by a Holograph? 

In Estate of Harold Franklin Campbell (Re), 2023 ONSC 4315, the Court considered whether the new, curative provision under s.21.1(1) of the Succession Law Reform Act  (“SLRA”) was available to revive a Will revoked by a subsequent marriage. Facts:  Harold Franklin Campbell died on June 11, 2020. He was survived…

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The Will Speaks from Death

A Will Speaks from Death In VanSickle Estate v. VanSickle, 2022 ONCA 643, the Court of Appeal for Ontario considered the presumption that a Will is to be interpreted as if it had been written immediately prior to the death of the testator. Background  Dorothy VanSickle died in 2019 at…

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Pass Your Accounts, Or Risk Jail Time

In the Estate of Nordby, 2023 ONSC 821, an executor was committed to prison for contempt of court for breaching a court order to pass accounts. Facts:  Jennifer Lynn Nordby died on January 23, 2013. Her Will appointed her father, Harold Nordby, as estate trustee and named her two children,…

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Can Information from the Internet Be Used As Evidence in Court? 

In J.N. v. C.G., 2023 ONCA 77, the Court of Appeal for Ontario considered whether information from the internet was admissible in Court and reliable as expert evidence. Facts:  The appellant father and respondent mother were married for almost seven years before separating. They had three children. The oldest child lived…

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Mental Illness and Medical Assistance in Dying: Changes to the Law Coming Soon

This blog was written by Christopher Cook, student-at-law. Medical assistance in dying (“MAiD”) is yet in its infancy in Canada. It was only in 2015 that the Supreme Court of Canada struck down as unconstitutional the Criminal Code’s prohibition on physician-assisted suicide. The following year, the Parliament of Canada amended…

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Selling Shakespeare’s Portrait

In Meuse v. Taylor, 2022 ONSC 1436, the Court considered the grounds for removing an estate trustee. Facts The events giving rise to the Application involved a purported portrait of William Shakespeare painted during his lifetime. If authenticated by an interested buyer, the portrait had a potential value of USD…

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Don’t Trust a Stranger

This blog was written by Christopher Cook, student-at-law The law recognizes three ways in which a stranger to the trust (i.e., someone who is not an appointed trustee) may be liable for breach of trust. First, one may be liable as a “trustee de son tort.” This is the case…

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