Focus On

Wills, Trusts & Estates


Wednesday, June 24, 2020 @ 8:51 AM

Ethics during the pandemic: Avoiding Faustian bargain | Joël Roy

As trial attorneys, to say our professional (and, often, personal) lives have been turned upside down by COVID-19 would be a major understatement. Postponed trials, anxious clients and a growing sense of helplessness have surely marked our practices in these troubled times. Yet, many of us see the justice system’s increased openness to technology as one potential silver lining. Indeed, courts now seem more and more willing to engage in remote hearings, virtual discovery and e-filing, which is truly something to celebrate amidst the otherwise chaotic state of litigation across the country. ... [read more]

Tuesday, June 23, 2020 @ 2:38 PM

Alberta and Ontario courts warm to videoconferencing zoom_screen_sm

Despite differences in the applicable court rules, recent cases from Ontario and Alberta in the context of COVID-19 social distancing restrictions demonstrate a similar willingness to use videoconferencing to facilitate cross-examinations on affidavits and questioning for discovery. ... [read more]

Tuesday, June 23, 2020 @ 9:27 AM

Alberta bills focus on business, public health as province seeks to emerge from pandemic

As Alberta begins the process of emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, the provincial government has introduced legislation which it says will improve the business climate in the province by removing red tape and allowing some pandemic response efforts to continue. ... [read more]

Tuesday, June 23, 2020 @ 8:53 AM

Validation of non-compliant testamentary documents in B.C.: Unsuccessful cases hand-_written_sm

In a previous article, cases where applications under s. 58 of the Wills Estates and Succession Act (WESA) were successful in curing deficiencies in testamentary documents were discussed. Those cases, as well as decisions such as Hubschi Estate 2019 BCSC 2040, where a document on a computer was found to be a valid will, may leave readers with the impression that s. 58 is limitless in scope. Cases reviewed here will address circumstances where s. 58 applications were unsuccessful, emphasizing the unpredictability of these decisions. ... [read more]

Monday, June 22, 2020 @ 10:21 AM

CIVIL PROCEDURE - Summary judgments - No triable issue

Appeal by the plaintiff from summary judgment striking his claim of constructive trust arising from unjust enrichment. ... [read more]

Friday, June 19, 2020 @ 12:43 PM

Digital assets technology awareness: Adapting to change digital_toolbox_sm

Don’t look now but COVID-19 just added a digital estate to your client’s estate plan. ... [read more]

Monday, June 15, 2020 @ 1:59 PM

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day: Call to action for lawyers Seniors

June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD). Founded by Dr. Elizabeth Podnieks of Ryerson University, the first WEAAD was launched in 2006 at the United Nations building in New York City. Five years later, in 2011, the UN General Assembly officially designated June 15 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. The annual commemoration is an opportunity to acknowledge the significance of elder abuse as a public health and human rights issue. ... [read more]

Monday, June 15, 2020 @ 11:24 AM

Zoom impact on oral advocacy Judgezoom

“Don’t cross your arms,” “Don’t forget eye contact,” “Try not to fidget … yes, put down that pencil.” Are these hallmarks of verbal advocacy about to become less relevant? ... [read more]

Monday, June 15, 2020 @ 8:51 AM

The family cottage: Preserve it or sell it house_questionmark_sm

As cottage season looms for so many Ontarians, many retired or aging cottage owners are becoming weary of the work and expense that goes into cottage ownership and are considering how to unburden themselves of these responsibilities. ... [read more]

Wednesday, June 10, 2020 @ 2:53 PM

Alberta follows Ontario sanctioning ‘upstream’ litigation by videoconference online_trial_sm

In the recent Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench decision of Sandhu v. Siri Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara of Alberta 2020 ABQB 359, Justice Michael Lema found authority in the Alberta Rules of Court and applied recent Ontario authority, among others, to authorize cross-examination on affidavits by videoconference, or “remotely,” given the exigencies of the pandemic. ... [read more]