All About Estates

Category: Undue influence

Total 26 Posts

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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Some Suggestions on Evaluating Undue Influence in the Court of Public Opinion

In recent weeks, Canadian politics has been rocked by the so-called “SNC-Lavalin Scandal.” One of the allegations has been whether former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould was pressured or unduly influenced by the Prime Minister’s Office to resolve the corruption and fraud case against SNC-Lavalin in an effort to spare the…

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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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Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) and Undue Influence

In 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada held that the ban on Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) was unconstitutional (for a summary of the decision, click here). However, MAiD is not available to all persons; to qualify, a person requesting MAiD must have a grievous and irremediable medical condition including…

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