All About Estates

Category: Estate Litigation

Total 207 Posts

Testamentary Freedom – A Fundamental Right?

Whether testamentary autonomy is a constitutionally protected right has not been considered by the courts … until now.

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You Better Think (Think)…About the Estate Planning Process

This blog was written by Lara Besharat In August 2018, renowned singer Aretha Franklin died of pancreatic cancer in her home in Detroit, leaving behind an illustrious musical legacy, a strong history of civil rights activism, four children, and an estimated $80-million-dollar fortune. One thing she didn’t leave behind, however,…

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Sealing One’s Fate: The Sherman Murders, Probate and Perseverance

On June 18, 2018, Justice Dunphy made ex parte orders sealing the court files relating to the Sherman Estates. On catching wind of the sealing orders, the Toronto Star, and one of its reporters, Kevin Donovan, brought a motion to terminate the sealing orders. They succeeded on appeal.

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Undue Influence in Estate Planning

This Blog was written by: Alicia Godin, Estate and Trust Consultant, Scotiatrust Historically the area of estates was not particularly litigious, but as families and financial circumstances become more complex, litigation involving estates has become more frequent. Frequently touted, but notoriously difficult to prove, is the allegation of someone being…

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It Ain’t Over Til It’s Over*

A “passing of accounts” refers to the process of formally preparing and presenting accounts to the beneficiaries and the court. The accounts are either approved (i.e., “passed”) in the form presented, amended by court order and passed in revised form, or not passed because the court is not satisfied with…

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Significant Tax Re-Assessment Due to An Estate Valuation Gone Wrong

I have been writing about valuations for estate plan agreements, highlighting that they should be based on fair and reasonable methods, prepared in good faith, properly supported and documented at the time of valuation. In Lewin v. the Queen 2019 TCC 21, The Lewin Estate was appealing a significant tax…

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Solicitor’s Negligence – A Follow Up

I have previously blogged about solicitor’s negligence and the current state of the law with respect to, in part, determining lawyers’ liability and the applicable standard of care. As a follow-up, below is a brief list of some best practice tips to keep in mind: Communicate – keep the client…

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ETDL Appeal is to the Divisional Court – not the Court of Appeal

What appellate court is the proper forum for an appeal regarding the payment of an estate trustee during litigation’s fees (an “ETDL”)? In Gefen v. Gaertner, 2019 ONCA 233, the Court of Appeal held it was the Divisional Court and not the Court of Appeal. The Gefen Estate (the “Estate”)…

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Families and Lessons Learnt Along The Way V: 2

The more people/families I meet, the more I am amazed that there can be so much conflict that continues….. Many estate practices are busy because of familial conflict. We all know families that are not on speaking terms. In most cases, money has something to do with it. I wanted…

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Passing of Accounts –Made to Measure (Law)Suits

A passing of accounts is the process whereby an estate trustee (or other fiduciary) provides the beneficiaries with a summary of all estate assets, liabilities, and transactions, in a given period. A passing of accounts can be done informally or through a court application. It provides transparency to the beneficiaries…

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