All About Estates

Category: Estate Litigation

Total 202 Posts

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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When is a Gift not a Gift?

Styres v. Martin 2018 ONCA 956 is a case of a gift that unfolded a saga (not over yet and far from it) of diminished capacity, alleged breach of trust, breach of fiduciary duty, unjust enrichment, undue influence to name a few. Mr. Styres lived in a house he built…

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Some Suggestions on Evaluating Undue Influence in the Court of Public Opinion

In recent weeks, Canadian politics has been rocked by the so-called “SNC-Lavalin Scandal.” One of the allegations has been whether former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould was pressured or unduly influenced by the Prime Minister’s Office to resolve the corruption and fraud case against SNC-Lavalin in an effort to spare the…

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Understanding the Role of Section 3 Counsel

The recent case of Sylvester v. Britton, 2018 ONSC 6620 (“Sylvester”) provides an excellent review of the law regarding incapacity, attorneys for property and personal care, capacity assessments, and other issues which often arise in estate/capacity litigation cases. While the decision addresses many interesting points, this blog will focus upon…

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Supreme Court Blesses Henson Trusts

The Supreme Court of Canada has given its blessing to Henson Trusts (fully discretionary trusts set up to not impact the beneficiary’s social assistance benefits) in S.A. v. Metro Vancouver Housing Corp., 2019 SCC 4. I previously blogged about this case when it was before the Court of Appeal. The…

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To Remove or Not to Remove… That is the Question (with apologies to the bard)

Estates tell a million stories and the case of Ford v Mazman, 2019 ONSC 542, is just one of them. Mary died on April 3, 2017. Mary’s 2004 Will named her two nieces, Laura and Carleen, as sole beneficiaries. Mary appointed her close friend, Seta, as her estate trustee/executor. Laura…

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