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Wills, Trusts & Estates

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Wednesday, August 09, 2017 @ 9:11 AM

Navigating the tense waters of common law partner wills

In the past 10 years, the number of common law couples in Canada has grown at something like four times the rate of married couples. And while it’s not surprising to lawyers that common law relationships are not the same as marriage, it can still be surprising to “normal” people. ... [read more]

Tuesday, August 01, 2017 @ 8:37 AM

21st century estate practice: Shrunken heads and sperm

Hollywood’s vision of an estate solicitor sitting at their desk mulling fine points of tax law while sipping tea and drafting a will is so far from modern practice as to be laughable. One troubling issue for estate practitioners in the 21st century is the plethora of unique assets that have to be planned for, administered, and/or disposed of in a safe and permissible manner. An unscientific survey of our colleagues’ experiences yields some useful tips for dealing with unusual assets. ... [read more]

Friday, July 28, 2017 @ 7:15 AM

Jointly owned real property and bankrupt estates

Is jointly owned real property which otherwise would appear to pass to the surviving joint-owner by right of survivorship available to satisfy the debts of the deceased joint-owner should his or her estate later be found to be bankrupt or insolvent? ... [read more]

Tuesday, July 25, 2017 @ 8:24 AM

LIMITATION OF ACTIONS - Conflict between limitation periods - Which limitation period applies

Appeal by the estate of Father Crampton from the dismissal of its motion to have a cross-claim against it dismissed as statute-barred. ... [read more]

Thursday, July 20, 2017 @ 8:21 AM

LIMITATION OF ACTIONS - Conflict between limitation periods - Which limitation period applies

Appeal by the estate from a motion judge’s decision dismissing the estate’s action for damages for injuries. ... [read more]

Wednesday, July 19, 2017 @ 1:49 PM

Swabuck joins WEL Partners as associate

WEL Partners has announced that Alexander J. Swabuck is its newest associate. ... [read more]

Wednesday, July 19, 2017 @ 9:34 AM

Wills and estates bar needs to rethink its approach to marketing

For the last decade — and probably longer — the surveys have been saying the same thing: the number of Canadians who still don’t have a Will is not budging. ... [read more]

Monday, July 10, 2017 @ 7:36 AM

New Brunswick under pressure to develop stand-alone POA legislation

New Brunswick is the only province in Canada that does not have stand-alone power of attorney legislation in place. That reality is now causing controversy for the attorney general and increased concern within the legal community. ... [read more]

Wednesday, July 05, 2017 @ 8:52 AM

'Unfair' will doesn't equate to undue influence

It is a fundamental principle of contract law that parties to a contract must mutually consent to a contract’s terms. A contract can be voided if one party’s consent was given under domination or duress. Courts may, for instance, set aside testamentary documents that are created in circumstances where the testator, grantor or donor was subject to “undue influence.” ... [read more]

Wednesday, June 28, 2017 @ 8:56 AM

Recent decisions clarify exceptions to costs in estate litigation

For over 10 years, the position of costs in estate litigation has been clearly set out as a result of the Ontario Court of Appeal's decision in McDougald Estate v. Gooderham (McDougald). In that decision, Justice Eileen Gillese held that costs in estate litigation should follow the regular rules of civil litigation, where the unsuccessful party is responsible, in some degree, for the successful party's costs.  The only exception to this, pursuant to McDougald, are when public policy considerations are engaged. ... [read more]