All About Estates

Category: Undue influence

Total 31 Posts

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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Trust and (Mis)Communication in Families

There is a recurrent theme that I continue to see in my elder care work with families. It involves a breakdown in communication that has likely started sometime ago. As a result of this miscommunication, the trusting relationship that I would like to be believe originally existed there, has been…

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The Cost of Winning, Sort of….

In my practice, I have been engaged on valuation matters which, on occasion despite the efforts of all those involved, go to trial to have a trial judge settle for the parties. Most trials are expensive and the actual outcome is not always certain, no matter how strong one side…

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An Intriguing Will Challenge

In Koster v. Koster, the Deceased’s nieces and nephews challenged his last will on the grounds of undue influence. There is nothing unusual about a will challenge in these circumstances, the Deceased was a very wealthy man who changed his will in the twilight years of his life. What was…

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Will Challengers Beware!

In Seguin v. Pearson, 2018 ONCA 355, the Court of Appeal for Ontario dismissed the appeal of Carol-Anne Seguin from the lower court’s dismissal of her action to invalidate the two most recent wills of her late father, Robert Geddes Paterson (the “deceased”), despite the trial judge’s error in applying…

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Could There Have Been A Different Outcome?

Case Example 1:   John,  was a 93 year old, well -to -do gentleman, never married  and had no known family.   He lived in his own home in a nice part of the city.  His next door neighbor had kept an eye out and assisted him over the years by shoveling…

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