All About Estates

Category: Powers Of Attorney and Guardianship Disputes

Total 38 Posts

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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Finally, A Nice Passing of Accounts

Passings of accounts can often be bitter and vicious. However, the case of Daniel Estate (Re), 2019 ONSC 2790 was a welcome “good news” alternative to the standard slugfest. Linda and Ted cared for their elderly neighbours Isabel and Wayne for over two decades. The court noted that their relationship…

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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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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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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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Can We Prevent Elder Abuse?

I had the pleasure of attending last week’s Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners’ conference, titled “Elder Abuse and Manners of Protecting the Elderly”. It focused on financial abuse which is the most common form of elder abuse. It provided an excellent overview with a panel discussion presented and moderated…

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Death, Loss and Hope For Another Year

While the New Year starts in January, Jews around the world celebrate another New Year, the birth of the universe, 5778 years ago based on the Hebrew calendar. While it is the first of the High Holidays, for many who may not attend synagogue, it may still be recognized and…

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