All About Estates

Category: Undue influence

Total 29 Posts

Testamentary Capacity and Expert Reports

As many well know, issues relating to testamentary capacity are often at the forefront of estate litigation cases and in particular, will challenges. Drafting solicitors may opt to obtain a contemporaneous capacity assessment before their clients execute a last will and testament; this may be the case where the testator…

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Capacity to Consent to MAiD: A Suggestion For Amendment

I have found it uncommon for a family member or beneficiary to exert undue influence to pressure a patient to pursue MAiD. What worries me is the vulnerability of patients to undue influence from physicians who may embrace therapeutic nihilism and bias patients unduly towards MAiD. I suggest that, for capacity to consent to MAiD, the test of “ability to appreciate” should be expanded to require an appreciation of the views and wishes of supportive family members and friends.

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“If You See Something, Say Something”*

Do you have a ‘TCP’? While I am not a fan of using acronyms, ‘TCP’I is one you want to know.  It is shortform for ‘Trusted Contact Person’. “The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) announced July 15 that regulators are adopting amendments to National Instrument 31-103 Registration Requirements, Exemptions and Ongoing Registrant Obligations, which…

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Evaluation of Decision Making Capacity: Aiming for an Improved Standard of Care

Evaluation of decision-making capacity is inherent to the practice of law and medicine and is not the exclusive responsibility or expertise of either. Lawyers may need to assess (among other things) capacity to instruct counsel; to provide evidence; to stand trial; to appoint or revoke Powers of Attorney; to make…

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Can Section 3 Counsel be Summoned for Examination?

Successfully summoning counsel of record for examination is typically a difficult task, and a motion to quash will often be brought after a summons is served on counsel for one of the parties. Case law in is clear that, generally, calling a lawyer to give evidence against their client should…

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Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way: Virtual Witnessing and Undue Influence During COVID-19

This blog was written by Lara Besharat As the pandemic trudges on, jurisdictions are bowing to pressure, allowing for what was once a rigidly fixed process to be done virtually. In Canada, a will historically required the physical presence of two witnesses alongside the testator to be considered valid. However,…

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Frivolous Notices of Objection Can be Struck Out

Counsel faced with responding to frivolous objections to an application for a certificate of appointment of estate trustee may wish to consider rule 25.11 of the Rules of Civil Procedure. Rule 25.11 allows the court to strike out (all or part of) a pleading, without leave to amend, on the…

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Challenge Accepted: Court Challenges to Wills and Claims Against Estates

This blog was written by Isabelle Cadotte – Estate and Trust Consultant with Scotia Wealth Management As lawyers, we routinely field questions from testators about how to avoid challenges to their wills, especially where they’ve decided to leave a family member less than what they might have expected. On the…

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Undue Influence in Estate Planning

This Blog was written by: Alicia Godin, Estate and Trust Consultant, Scotiatrust Historically the area of estates was not particularly litigious, but as families and financial circumstances become more complex, litigation involving estates has become more frequent. Frequently touted, but notoriously difficult to prove, is the allegation of someone being…

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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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