All About Estates

Tag: Estate Litigation

Total 65 Posts

Revocation of Wills

In the recent case of Sokalski Estate (Re), 2019 ABQB 285, the deceased left two wills one in 2011 and the other 2017, without expressly revoking the earlier one. The estate applied to the Court for a determination regarding which document or documents form the deceased Mr. Sokalski’s last will….

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Yet Another Family Cottage Feud

In summertime cottages are the delight of everyone. But that dreamy cottage can turn into an estate litigation nightmare, as one family discovered in Donaldson v. Braybrook, 2020 ONCA 66. Margaret had four children: Wendy, Susan, Thomas and Barry. She allowed them all generous access to her cottage. In fact,…

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Winner Doesn’t Take All: Estate Trustee Cannot Indemnify for Costs

An estate trustee was successful in litigation in upholding the will. However, due to her conduct before and during the litigation the court nevertheless ordered that she personally bear half of her costs in Bayford v. Boese, 2019 ONSC 6919. The estate trustee (a friend of the deceased) sought to…

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Inadequate Execution of a Will led to Court Dispute

In Bayford v. Boese 2019 ONSC 5663 the deceased Mr. Boese was the sole owner of a farm in Eastern Ontario he inherited from his parents. He never married and had no children. For two decades prior to his death, Mr. Boese was assisted in the operation of the farm…

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Interim Support and the “Bare Minimum”

Should a widow have to deplete her meager savings and income before being entitled to interim dependant support from her late husband’s estate? In Anderson v. Anderson, 2019 ONSC 5627 (CanLII), the court’s answer was unsurprisingly “no”. The deceased had been married to his second wife for almost 20 years….

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Trustee’s Personal Liability – It Could Go on for Years!

Take the case of Estate of Ronald Alfred Craymer v Hayward et al, 2019 ONSC 4600, The Craymers were married in the 1980’s. It was a second marriage for Mrs. Craymer and a fourth marriage for Mr. Craymer. At the time of their marriage, Mrs. Craymer had three adult children…

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ETDL Appeal is to the Divisional Court – not the Court of Appeal

What appellate court is the proper forum for an appeal regarding the payment of an estate trustee during litigation’s fees (an “ETDL”)? In Gefen v. Gaertner, 2019 ONCA 233, the Court of Appeal held it was the Divisional Court and not the Court of Appeal. The Gefen Estate (the “Estate”)…

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When is a Gift not a Gift?

Styres v. Martin 2018 ONCA 956 is a case of a gift that unfolded a saga (not over yet and far from it) of diminished capacity, alleged breach of trust, breach of fiduciary duty, unjust enrichment, undue influence to name a few. Mr. Styres lived in a house he built…

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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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Support, Shoes and Social Media

How much interim dependant support is too much? When can interim legal fees be ordered? And can young people be stopped from posting on Instagram? Justice Pattillo had to consider these question in Zavet v. Herzog, 2018 ONSC 3398. The deceased, a wealthy real estate developer behind many of Toronto’s…

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