Focus On
NEW In-House Counsel | Insurance | Intellectual Property | Immigration | Natural Resources | Real Estate | Tax

Wills, Trusts & Estates

Latest

Friday, March 10, 2017 @ 8:51 AM

Drawing the fine line between zealous advocacy and incivility

Like American politics, the legal profession has suffered a decline in civility. ... [read more]

Wednesday, March 08, 2017 @ 8:37 AM

Ontario court of appeal sends mixed messages regarding probate jurisdiction

The Ontario Court of Appeal recently released two separate and very important decisions in the areas of wills and estates. The two cases were Spence v. BMO Trust Co. 2016 ONCA 196  and Neuberger v. York 2016 ONCA 191. In both of these decisions, the Court of Appeal addressed the issue of the court’s jurisdiction and role in matters of probate. ... [read more]

Tuesday, March 07, 2017 @ 12:02 AM

Rethink the billable hour to give middle class access to justice | Julius Melnitzer

The best thing the legal profession’s regulators could do to ensure access to justice for the middle class is to ban hourly billing — or at least mandate some sense into its use. ... [read more]

Friday, March 03, 2017 @ 3:02 PM

Access to Justice: Thinking big about access to justice | Thomas Cromwell

Access to justice is the biggest challenge facing our legal system. And just about every lawyer I know cares deeply about the health of that system and many are trying to help. But do we understand the problem and are we making progress? Those questions will be the jumping off spot for my exclusive to The Lawyer’s Daily column dedicated to access to civil and family justice in the coming months. ... [read more]

Friday, March 03, 2017 @ 8:48 AM

GIFTS - Inter vivos - Presumption of advancement - Parent to child - Validity of transfer - Donative intent (animus donandi)

Appeal by the defendant, John McKendry, from a trial judgment declaring he held real property in trust for his mother's Estate. The respondents, Margaret, Jean and Alexis, were three of the appellant's four sisters, all of whom were entitled to share in the mother's Estate. From 2006 through the mother's passing in 2012, John resided with the mother in her Vancouver home. In 2008, the mother transferred legal title in the home into joint tenancy with John. Initially, John held the beneficial interest in trust in equal shares for himself and his four sisters. In 2010, the mother removed the trust conditions attached to the transfer to ensure John would receive the property upon her death. She informed her lawyer in writing of her intention. The mother's 2010 Will divided the residue of her Estate equally among the sisters and included a paragraph stating John would receive the home. In 2012 and 2014, John's sisters brought litigation in respect of the home. The trial judge found the mother was required to execute a written deed of gift under seal for John to take beneficial ownership of the home upon her death, and therefore John held the property in trust for the Estate. John appealed. ... [read more]

Thursday, March 02, 2017 @ 7:00 PM

Simplify explanation of wills to avoid challenges

Not applicable ... [read more]

Thursday, March 02, 2017 @ 7:00 PM

Working with a full house

Blended families can be a real joy with the addition of interesting people into your life and the exposure to new ways of thinking. They can also be hard, and one of the hardest things about a blended family is determining what will happen when one of the parents dies.  ... [read more]

Thursday, March 02, 2017 @ 7:00 PM

Wills, Estates & Trusts Law - GIFTS - Inter vivos - Presumption of advancement - Parent to child - Validity of transfer - Donative intent (animus donandi)

Appeal by the defendant, John McKendry, from a trial judgment declaring he held real property in trust for his mother’s Estate. The respondents, Margaret, Jean and Alexis, were three of the appellant’s four sisters, all of whom were entitled to share in the mother’s Estate. From 2006 through the mother’s passing in 2012, John resided with the mother in her Vancouver home. In 2008, the mother transferred legal title in the home into joint tenancy with John. Initially, John held the beneficial interest in trust in equal shares for himself and his four sisters. In 2010, the mother removed the trust conditions attached to the transfer to ensure John would receive the property upon her death. She informed her lawyer in writing of her intention. The mother’s 2010 Will divided the residue of her Estate equally among the sisters and included a paragraph stating John would receive the home. In 2012 and 2014, John’s sisters brought litigation in respect of the home. The trial judge found the mother was required to execute a written deed of gift under seal for John to take beneficial ownership of the home upon her death, and therefore John held the property in trust for the Estate. John appealed. ... [read more]

Monday, February 27, 2017 @ 9:47 AM

Gowling WLG expands global private client services team with three new partners

Gowling WLG has expanded its global private client services group with the addition of Archie Rabinowitz, Brian Cohen and David Lobl as partners. ... [read more]

Thursday, February 23, 2017 @ 10:52 AM

GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS - Social services and programs - Entitlement - Disabled persons - Services and programs - Housing - Subsidized housing - Rent subsidies

Appeal by SA from a judgment in favour of the Metro Vancouver Housing Corporation (MVHC). The appellant was a person with disabilities. MVHC was a non-profit public housing body that provided subsidized rental units to eligible tenants. MVHC required prospective tenants to provide evidence of their income and assets to determine eligibility. An asset ceiling policy of $25,000 existed to ensure those with the greatest need benefited from rental assistance. The appellant lived at the complex from 1992 onward pursuant to annual tenancy agreements with MVHC, each of which required her to verify her assets and income. In 2012, litigation involving the estate of the appellant's late father resulted in the appellant becoming a beneficiary under a discretionary trust. The order creating the trust did not disclose the contents of the trust or its value. The appellant refused to disclose the information to MVHC beyond stating she had not received any trust payments to date. MVHC took the position the appellant was required to disclose any assets in which she had a beneficial interest, including the discretionary trust, in order to determine her eligibility for additional rent assistance. The appellant filed a petition seeking a declaration the discretionary trust was not an asset for the purpose of her tenancy agreement with MVHC with related relief. MVHC sought an order requiring disclosure of the value of the trust with supporting documentation. The chambers judge decided in favour of MVHC. SA appealed. ... [read more]