Focus On

Wills, Trusts & Estates


Monday, July 26, 2021 @ 9:37 AM

Case against B.C. law society deals with ambit of investigatory power, says lawyer Carey Veinotte, Whitelaw Twining LLP

A B.C. lawyer is arguing an investigation into his practice by the Law Society of British Columbia (LSBC)’s violated Charter protections against unreasonable search and seizure. The challenge surrounds Rule 4-55 of the LSBC’s rules, which states that if the chair of the law society’s discipline committee reasonably believes a lawyer or former lawyer may have committed a discipline violation the “chair may order that the Executive Director conduct an investigation of the books, records and accounts of the lawyer or former lawyer, including, if considered desirable in the opinion of the chair, all electronic records of the lawyer or former lawyer.” ... [read more]

Friday, July 23, 2021 @ 8:35 AM

Ontario Court of Appeal confirms splitting of gift, survivorship interest, lawyers say Ira Marcovitch, of Nelligan Law

In a dispute over the division of sale proceeds from a home held in joint tenancy, the Ontario Court of Appeal has sided with the appellant in a decision, counsel said, confirms that a gift and survivorship interest is “separate.” ... [read more]

Friday, July 23, 2021 @ 5:34 AM

FOR TORTS - Affecting the person - Defamation - Method of publication - Mail

Action by the plaintiff son, daughter and son-in-law, as estate trustees and in their personal capacity, for damages against the defendant lawyer and law firm. The 82-year-old father died suddenly in 2010. He was survived by his wife, the plaintiffs’ mother, who had dementia. ... [read more]

Wednesday, July 21, 2021 @ 8:43 AM

Digital assets inventory: Fiduciaries, executors need more than passwords Laptop with gold bars on the screen

One of the most common misconceptions I see in estate planning is that people believe that their spouse, partner or child can simply use the deceased’s passwords to log in to access financial accounts. Even if the accounts are joint, attempting access via the deceased’s passwords will likely violate the terms of service with the institution. If clients have joint accounts, each individual user should be using their own login credentials to manage that account. And this applies to fiduciaries. ... [read more]

Tuesday, July 20, 2021 @ 11:55 AM

First create a will, then keep it updated Man with all his assets and a laptop

“Why do I need a will?” This is a question we hear from many clients new to estate planning. It is usually followed up by a list of reasons why clients think they don’t need a will, which can range from believing they are too young and don’t have anything of value, to not being concerned about what happens once they are gone. ... [read more]

Monday, July 19, 2021 @ 8:48 AM

Digital assets inventory: The executor and today’s digitally connected home Laptop with gold bars on screen

Part one in this series introduced the concept of a digital assets inventory. Part two provided a deep dive on a digital assets inventory with examples from the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP). This article, part three, looks at further examples in a digital asset inventory. ... [read more]

Friday, July 16, 2021 @ 12:13 PM

B.C. Supreme Court scheduling system broken, has been for a long time | Kyla Lee

On the second Tuesday of every month, alarm clocks across the province go off early. Lawyers, legal assistants, paralegals and self-represented individuals get out of bed early, make a big cup of coffee and start to engage in finger stretching exercises. ... [read more]

Friday, July 16, 2021 @ 8:38 AM

Hidden contracts: A danger in charity and not-for-profit governance Contact with red seal attached

Contracts or covenants are a central concept in many the world’s main religions, in particular the Abrahamic Covenant ones, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Today’s North American secular culture is similarly attracted to agreements as the basis for mutual activities, whether in government or in non-profit movements. Given their prevalence, it is not uncommon to find hidden contracts in religious settings, in the form of joint resolutions or covenants between not only God and an individual but between co-religionists. ... [read more]

Thursday, July 15, 2021 @ 12:54 PM

Civil Remedies Act forbids province from side-stepping settlement process: Appeal Court  

Until a court has ruled that a property has been tainted by a criminal offence, the Ontario government cannot summarily dispose of both a property owner’s assets and its own legal onus under the province’s Civil Remedies Act, according to a recent precedential decision by the Ontario Court of Appeal. ... [read more]

Thursday, July 15, 2021 @ 11:56 AM

POWER OF ATTORNEY - Termination - On attorney’s death

Appeal by Kirkpatrick from the dismissal of his application to act as attorney for his aunt. The appellant applied to be appointed attorney under the aunt’s enduring power of attorney after both named attorneys passed away. ... [read more]