All About Estates

Category: Guardianship

Total 39 Posts

Power of Attorney Disputes: Effective Capacity Assessments

I was honoured to moderate a panel today at the Advocates’ Society’s CPD today “Capable or Not? How to Effectively Litigate and Mediate a Power of Attorney Dispute” (which will be available for purchase online in a couple of months as a webcast archive at TAS’ website). Justices McEwen and…

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Homicide in Ontario LTC Homes

Readers in Ontario are likely familiar with Elizabeth Tracy Mae Wettlaufer, a former registered nurse, who confessed to murdering eight senior citizens and attempting to murder six others in southwestern Ontario long term care (LTC) homes between 2007 and 2016. Following her criminal conviction, the province of Ontario established a…

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Trusts and Trust Resettlements – Variations and Circumstances

Variation(s) of a trust agreement, after it is settled, does carry the risk of causing a resettlement of a trust or a disposition of a beneficiary’s interest in the trust, with serious tax consequences. But not all variations lead to resettlement, fortunately. Recently in an advance ruling, the Canada revenue…

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What an Attorney for Personal Care Can Do

In Ontario, a power of attorney for personal care is defined in the Substitute Decisions Act (SDA) and allows the appointed attorney to act as the substitute decision maker (SDM) for an incapable person. The appointed attorney is given the authority to make decisions such as: medical treatments, admission to…

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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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