All About Estates

Tyler Lin

Total 10 Posts Website
Tyler Lin completed his articles at de VRIES LITIGATION LLP. His practice focuses on estate, trust and capacity litigation.

All About The Disappointed Beneficiary Claim

What happens when a lawyer is retained by a testator to make a will, but that will is never made? While the testator (or their estate) may have a claim against the lawyer, do the beneficiaries of that unmade will also have a claim? The Historical Origin of “Disappointed Beneficiaries”:…

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Who is a “Spouse”?

A ‘Playboy’ Millionaire’s Legacy The estate litigation of dismembered multi-millionaire Gang Yuan has once again made headlines. Last Friday, the British Columbia Court of Appeal denied leave to appeal by one of five mothers to his children who sought to establish that she was a “spouse” to Mr. Yuan. Mr….

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Too Ill to Make a Will: three practical tips for surviving deathbed retainers

A Dead Give-Away Did you know that deathbed wills are the original will? In medieval Europe, for all but those in high society, will-making was synonymous with efforts right before death. Luckily, this type of estate planning is no longer the status quo. However, deathbed wills have persisted as a…

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What if… the Kardashian Deathbed Marriage Took Place under Ontario Law?

A Thought Experiment Recently, I had the opportunity to co-author a paper on deathbed retainers with Justin de Vries. In drafting this paper, I had the occasion to think about deathbed wills from every conceivable angle. The idea for this blog started as footnote 81: a hypothetical thought experiment on…

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When Does a Class of Beneficiaries Close?

“To my grandchildren…” Sometimes, a testator will leave testamentary gifts to an undefined class of people, rather than to beneficiaries by name. Gifts might be left to “my children” or “my grandchildren” or even “the children of my niece” without any further specifications in the will[1]. This practice raises a…

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Lost in Translation: Clients Who Do Not Speak English

Canada is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world. Ontario is amongst its most diverse provinces. As globalization continues, Ontario’s lawyers will undoubtedly encounter a continued increase in client diversity. What are a lawyer’s responsibilities when faced with potential clients who do not speak either of Canada’s…

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Reaffirming the Status Quo of Beneficial Designations: the saga of Calmusky v. Calmusky continued

The Rippling Effects of Calmusky v. Calmusky In March of 2020, Lococo J.’s decision in Calmusky v. Calmusky made waves in Ontario’s legal community. (For this reason, it was included in our top 20 estate law cases of 2020. An excellent summary and analysis of that decision by my colleague…

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How the ‘Hotchpot Clause’ Lost its Groove: the marriage settlement trust and myth of women’s legal disabilities

What is Hotchpot? In estates law, “hotchpot” is a legal term of art.[1] It is an umbrella term that covers a few related concepts (e.g., a hotchpot clause, common law presumptions of hotchpot, intestacy legislation on the same). In essence, the purpose of hotchpot is to prevent one beneficiary from…

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Bill 245: Innovative Updates to the Succession Law Reform Act

Dear readers, As you might recall, last April (of 2020) was the height of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ontario. As part of our government’s efforts to keep Ontarians safe while still allowing access to justice, an emergency order was brought at that time to allow virtual…

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Can a McDonald’s Paper Napkin be a Valid Will?

We know that a suicide note can constitute a valid will in British Columbia, and possibly in Ontario. However, can a will written on a paper napkin from a McDonald’s restaurant be a valid will in Saskatchewan? This was interesting issue was addressed in Gust v. Langan. The Facts Six…

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