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Wills, Trusts & Estates

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Thursday, June 04, 2020 @ 8:49 AM

Access to justice and pixie dust: Civil resolution tribunals | Bo Kruk

COVID-19 has changed the manner in which we transact justice. The courts in Ontario have embraced new technology to allow more cases to proceed at an unprecedented rate. While we have searched for technological answers to our new world order, we need not look too far. British Columbia’s Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT) provides an effective online model that can — and should — be easily transplanted to any other jurisdiction. The CRT offers answers to our technological challenges. ... [read more]

Wednesday, June 03, 2020 @ 8:52 AM

No going back: Technology and court process | Gary Joseph

The COVID-19 shutdown of the court system was initially viewed as a temporary measure to address legitimate health concerns. Most lawyers expected a quick return to “normal” once the pandemic passed. Two things have now become quite apparent: the pandemic is not passing as quickly as we had hoped and, as importantly, there will be a new “normal.” Lawyers need to accept this and get onboard the technology train or they will be left behind. ... [read more]

Tuesday, June 02, 2020 @ 2:37 PM

Tax planning strategies in market downturn: Estate freezes, income splitting Two people with calculator

COVID-19 has had a severe impact on the global economy. But as the old saying goes: when life gives you lemons, it’s time for tax planning! In this three-part series, we discuss select tax planning strategies that make use of the market downturn or otherwise mitigate its impacts. In this part, we will discuss estate freezes and income splitting, which are strategies that can capitalize on lower asset valuations. ... [read more]

Tuesday, June 02, 2020 @ 1:41 PM

Litigation risk in COVID-19 environment: Big changes risk_liability_sm

Litigation risks are materially different today, under COVID-19 than at the start of 2020 when the threat of a world-changing global pandemic was barely an idea. The economic and strategic considerations affecting organizations’ litigation decisions are shifting. This article examines that shift and explores the consequences for litigants going forward as they seek to resolve disputes in the pandemic environment — both existing legal disputes and new litigation arising from COVID-19. ... [read more]

Tuesday, June 02, 2020 @ 9:55 AM

Justice and the pandemic: The new gold standard Canada_COVID_sm

This article is the first of a three-part series examining our courts’ response to the pandemic and what it means for the future of the civil justice system. ... [read more]

Monday, June 01, 2020 @ 2:54 PM

Dependant denied support for misconduct: Support applications denied_stamp_sm

This three-part series addresses the question of whether misconduct by a dependant could disentitle that person to support that they might otherwise be entitled to receive. The answer to this requires a review of several acts, including the Civil Remedies Act, and this article will explore it and how other statutes and common law rules have been applied to try to disentitle beneficiaries to proceeds of life insurance and through intestacy. ... [read more]

Friday, May 29, 2020 @ 9:33 AM

Dependants denied support for misconduct: Death and the ‘slayer rule’ denied_stamp_sm

Ontario’s courts and legislature offer an avenue for dependants to challenge how the estate of the deceased is distributed. While a testator generally has the right to dictate what happens to his/her assets upon death, certain relationships create responsibilities that limit this testamentary freedom, and a court might order that the estate pay the dependant support from the estate, over and above what the testator had intended. ... [read more]

Thursday, May 28, 2020 @ 1:16 PM

Canadian courts adapt to challenges of COVID-19 closed_COVID_sm

Over the past few months, Canadians have experienced unprecedented changes in all facets of their lives. As businesses, from restaurants to banks, have quickly shifted their operations to help flatten the curve, so to have our nation’s courts. ... [read more]

Thursday, May 28, 2020 @ 8:42 AM

Validation of deficient testamentary documents in B.C.: Successes hand_written_sm

In the wake of COVID-19 there has been increased discussion in British Columbia of the prospective validation of wills that are not fully compliant with the formal execution requirements set out in s. 37 of the Wills, Estates and Succession Act (WESA). ... [read more]

Wednesday, May 27, 2020 @ 6:14 AM

CORPORATIONS - Duties and powers of directors

Appeal by the Martins from the trial judgment finding the appellant wife breached her obligation as a fiduciary not to allow a conflict of her duty as a director of ALPC with her own interests and was liable to ALPC under the corporate opportunity doctrine. ... [read more]