All About Estates

Category: Testamentary Capacity

Total 31 Posts

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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Taking the Extra Steps

Verifying the capacity of a testator prior to him or her executing a will is essential, and the test for testamentary capacity is well known to drafting solicitors and estate litigators. In particular, Banks v. Goodfellow provides that a person executing a will: (1) shall understand the nature of the…

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When Leaving Your Premises for Medical Reasons and Never Go Back: Need a Plan

I do a lot of work in the insurance industry. Recently, I came across a court case which I thik is a cautionary tale for estate planners and executors. In Gregson v. CAA Insurance., 2021 ONSC 3041, Ms. Gregson was a property owner and name insured on March 17,2017 when…

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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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When Are You Married?

Most know that you don’t have to be legally married to have a “spouse” for income tax purposes, although legal marriage will work. If you have been living with someone in a conjugal relationship for 12 months or more regardless of your sex at birth, you will be considered spouses…

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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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Forensic Profile of Perpetrators of Financial Elder Abuse

Financial elder abuse is defined by the World Health Organisation as the illegal or improper exploitation or use of funds or resources of the older person.[i] The misuse of a senior’s funds and assets involves the use of the senior’s funds without that senior’s knowledge and/or full consent, or, in…

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Meeting the Will Challenge Threshold

Today’s blog was written by Christina Papadopoulos, an articling student with de VRIES LITIGATION LLP. What is the minimum level of evidence to be met before a court allows a will challenge to proceed? The recent Ontario Superior Court of Justice decision in Naismith v. Clarke, 2019 ONSC 5280 (“Naismith”)…

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Trusts and Trust Resettlements – Variations and Circumstances

Variation(s) of a trust agreement, after it is settled, does carry the risk of causing a resettlement of a trust or a disposition of a beneficiary’s interest in the trust, with serious tax consequences. But not all variations lead to resettlement, fortunately. Recently in an advance ruling, the Canada revenue…

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Some Thoughts on Explaining Differences in Expert Opinions

Experts giving evidence in an Ontario court are obliged to sign an acknowledgement that they are independent, with their obligation being to the court and not to the party who retained them. Nonetheless, scepticism regarding objectiveness and discrepancies between expert opinions remains, as demonstrated in the reasons of Justice Mesbur…

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