All About Estates

Tag: Contracts

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When is a Settlement Considered Binding and Enforceable?

In the recent decision of Prince v Nytschyk Estate, 2016 ONSC 7459, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice enforced a settlement despite the lack of signed minutes of settlement at the time of death of one of the parties. In this case, Cherie Lewicki (“Cherie”) and Joseph Nytschyk (“Joseph”) were in a common-law relationship for about 15 years, during which time they lived together in a house in Joseph’s name alone. Joseph died intestate (without a Will) in 2013 and Cherie continued to live in the house until her death in 2015. Before her death, Cherie commenced a claim for dependent’s relief against Joseph’s estate. As part of her claim, Cherie sought a declaration that the house was held in trust for her based on a resulting or constructive trust. With the estate’s potentially significant exposure to a dependant’s support claim, the parties agreed to a settlement whereby the house would be transferred to Cherie. However, prior to the completion of any signed minutes of settlement, Cherie unexpectedly died.

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