All About Estates

Category: Trustee Disputes

Total 21 Posts

The Motivating Factor

Estate litigation is full of high emotions and recriminations, usually stemming from decades of family history. As a result, it is not unusual for a client to question their family member’s reason for commencing litigation against them: jealousy and revenge for some long ago slight are usual suspects. However, as…

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Can You be Removed as a Trustee Without a Replacement?

The recent case of Novak v. McDougall, (2019 SKQB 261), confirms that when you have accepted an appointment to be trustee, you may not be able to have yourself removed from that appointment without a suitable replacement. The applicant in this case, a beneficiary of a “Henson” trust (basically defined…

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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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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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Conflicts of Interest – When Lawyers Will Be Removed (or not)

By the time a matter reaches trial, a client and her lawyer will have spent a significant amount of time together. A bond often develops over the course of the relationship, with the client trusting that her lawyer will put forward her position forcibly and knowledgeably. As a result, an…

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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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Estate Trustees and Costs of Litigation: Try not to take it personally?

In the work I do, I am asked to provide expert testimony to support litigation. In some cases, I am often quite surprised to what extent parties will continue to litigate matters that appear to be “no-wins” or for small dollar amounts. Depending on the circumstances, parties have taken the…

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The Living Hands that Control the Graves

As a law student, my trust law professor brought in a “dead hand” to help us remember the rule against perpetuities. The prop was effective: I have not forgotten that the rule stops trust property from being governed indefinitely from “beyond the grave.” While principles of trust law helpfully prevent…

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Despite a Messy Fight Over a Billionaire’s Capacity, Succession Planning Still Essential

Over the past year, the saga of billionaire Sumner Redstone’s estate and capacity fight has continued to play out in the United States. Redstone, an American media magnate, was the subject of a lawsuit brought by Manuela Herzer, a former girlfriend. Herzer alleged that the CBS Corporation and Viacom owner…

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Estate Trustee During Litigation – A Refresher from the STEP 2016 National Conference

The reality is, with the impending transfer of one of the largest amounts of wealth in our history from one generation to the next, we are likely to see a continued up-tick in estate litigation. Along with that there will be the increased need for a neutral party to preserve the assets of the estate during the course of such litigation.

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