All About Estates

Category: Guardianship

Total 35 Posts

Some Thoughts on Explaining Differences in Expert Opinions

Experts giving evidence in an Ontario court are obliged to sign an acknowledgement that they are independent, with their obligation being to the court and not to the party who retained them. Nonetheless, scepticism regarding objectiveness and discrepancies between expert opinions remains, as demonstrated in the reasons of Justice Mesbur…

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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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Statutory Guardianship of Property vs. a Continuing Power of Attorney for Property: They are not the same!

My June 2017 blog described that most seniors appoint a continuing power of attorney for property (CPOAP), partly to avoid having the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee (OPG&T) assume the role of statutory guardian of property under the Substitute Decisions Act (SDA) or the Mental Health Act (MHA)…

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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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When More Help is Needed: Moving Seniors with Dementia to Care Facilities

Section 4(1) of the Health Care Consent Act (HCCA) sets out a two-part test for determining whether a person has the capacity to consent to medical treatment, to be admitted to a care facility, or to receive a personal assistive service/device: Is the person able to understand information relevant to…

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Privacy, the Rule of Law, and Apotex Inc.

The “rule of law” is a defining feature of western democracies. Briefly described, it is the insistence that all government action be based in law, and is contrasted with acts of tyranny, dictatorship, and arbitrary exercises of power. The central role that the rule of law plays in Canadian society…

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Assisting Detection of Hospital Acquired Delirium by Informal Caregivers – The Sour Seven

In the March 2018 edition of Reader’s Digest, I came across an article called “State of Confusion”[i] about hospital acquired delirium and the negative consequences that can arise from it. (The author’s original article can be found online.)[ii] The editor’s letter “Decoding Delirium”[iii] in the same issue recounts her mother’s…

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Capacity Evaluation of an Expressed Choice

In law, expressed choices are not necessarily a reflection of capable decision making. For example, regarding testamentary capacity, the Ontario Court of Appeal in Hall v. Bennett Estate (2003)[i] stated in paragraphs 15 and 16 that it is not sufficient simply to show that a testator had the capacity to…

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The SDA and Incapacity to Manage Personal Care – Additional Commentary on Limitations in Legislation

Pursuant to Section 45 of the Substitute Decisions Act (SDA),[i] incapacity for personal care is defined as – A person is incapable of personal care if the person is not able to understand information that is relevant to making a decision concerning his or her own health care, nutrition, shelter,…

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Removing an Joint Attorney for Property: A High Evidentiary Threshold

Mere disagreement among joint attorneys is not enough to have one attorney removed from their role. A court will defer to the choice of attorney(s) made by the guarantor before they became incapable.  A party requires strong and compelling evidence of misconduct or neglect to remove an attorney. In White…

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