All About Estates

Category: Estate Litigation

Total 187 Posts

Not So Fast – Who Controls the Body?

“He knows where the bodies are buried” is a throwaway line from Orson Wells’ cinematic masterpiece, Citizen Kane. That line soon took on a life of its own and entered the cultural vernacular. In the world of estates, a more frequent problem is not finding the bodies but deciding where…

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Interpreting “Per Stirpes” In Ambiguous Wills

“The ghosts of dissatisfied testators,” a Chancery judge once noted, “Wait on the banks of the Styx for the judges who misconstrued their wills.” As such, the court will take great care to ensure that wills are properly interpreted, even if they are oblique or confusing. This was the situation…

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Unexpected Death? Apply for an Extension

Death is difficult to control. It has also proved impossible to avoid. However, married spouses are given greater options than the rest of us – they can choose to inherit their deceased partner’s estate under the Succession Law Reform Act or the Family Law Act. When a married spouse dies…

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Buffy the Vampire (Slayer Rule)

Halloween is right around the corner, so today’s blog post is taking an ominous turn. Informal Reader Poll: What’s scarier? a) A horror movie that’s been remade three times b) Having to remake a client’s will for the third time Now to the fun stuff….. There’s a general principle in…

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Preservation Orders in Estate Litigation

Estate litigators are very familiar with unique and interesting fact patterns and it is helpful to be reminded that unusual circumstances may warrant the use of somewhat uncommon remedies. Rule 45 of the Rules of Civil Procedure is one such remedy, which provides for the interim preservation of property and…

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Summary Judgment and Limitation Periods in the Context of Estate Litigation

Today’s blog was co-written by Ronald Neal. In Sinclair v Harris, Justice Nakatsuru granted summary judgment on the basis that the claims advanced on behalf of the estate were statute-barred. The deceased passed away in November 2015.  The Plaintiffs are the estate trustees appointed in the deceased’s will (the “Estate Trustees”).  Five years…

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Is it Improper for Counsel to Assist an Expert Witness in the Preparation of the Expert’s Report?

Expert evidence constitutes an exception to the rule that witnesses may only testify as to facts, not opinions, and that it is the exclusive prerogative of the trier of fact to draw inferences from proven facts. The expert evidence exception operates where specialized knowledge is required to determine the implications…

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The Importance of Being Original

This Blog was written by: Emily Racine   As we know, the statistics are less than ideal for the number of Canadians who have a will let alone a recently updated one. That being said, having a will is not enough – it is important to have the original will….

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A Roadblock for Multiple Wills

Today’s blog was written by Justin W. de Vries and Jacob Kaufman A will need not be probated. The power of an estate trustee derives from the will itself. However, in certain cases, a grant of probate (now awkwardly called a certificate of appointment of estate trustee with a will)…

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Undue Influence by “Unwitting Proxy”

Undue influence results in benefits to a beneficiary/donee which would not have occurred except for the undue influence imposed by the beneficiary/donee upon the testator/donor. Undue influence can be conceptualized into two distinct types: (1) “actual” undue influence and (2) “presumed” undue influence. Actual undue influence is concerned with coercive…

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