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Codicil

Declaration with no consequential relief not subject to limitations

In Piekut, the court determined that a codicil to a will was valid notwithstanding that the application was commenced more than two years after the applicant discovered the codicil’s existence. Justice Dietrich made this determination despite case law that stands for the proposition that a party seeking to challenge a will must do so within two years from the date of the deceased's death, subject to the discoverability rules in the Limitations Act.
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Recording Video Evidence

Death of a Party: Issues in Respect of Evidence

In our previous blogs, we discussed many of the procedural and cost implications associated with the death of a party. Oftentimes, however, the death of a litigant causes more than just a procedural hiccup and can be quite prejudicial to the deceased litigant’s case. For instance, in cases where the deceased litigant’s cause of action relies heavily on the deceased litigant’s personal knowledge and recollection of events.
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Legal Fees

Death of a Party: What Happens when the Deceased’s Executor is forced to discontinue a claim?

In this blog, we look at a unique scenario where a Trustee has no legal right to continue an action and must discontinue. Who bears the costs in this scenario? The vast majority of claims commenced by a deceased party can be continued following the person’s death. Section 38 of the Trustee Act is the statutory provision regulating the recovery of damages on behalf of a deceased.
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Death Of Litigant And Unwanted Lawsuit

Death of a Party and the Unwanted Lawsuit

In our last blog, we reviewed the procedural steps that need to be taken upon a litigant’s death and what steps a litigant’s executor must take in order to continue a lawsuit. But what happens if a litigant’s executor (the “Trustee”) (and/or the beneficiaries) has a sober second look at the lawsuit and decides that the deceased litigant’s case is not particularly strong and they don’t want to obtain an order to continue with the proceeding?
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Trustee Compensation

Are trustees entitled to take interim compensation?

Under Ontario law, all fiduciaries, including estate trustees, have a right to compensation for their time and efforts. This right is derived from the common law, statute, and the instrument creating or governing the relationship, such as a will or continuing power of attorney (as the case may be). However, the question of when a fiduciary is entitled to compensation depends on several factors. In examining this question, this blog will examine the statutory framework for compensation of attorneys and trustees, the common law rule against “pre-taking” compensation and its exceptions, and the consequences that may arise from breach of the rule.
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Rules To Collapse A Trust

Understanding and Applying the Rule to collapse a Trust

There is a tension between the two sometimes conflicting goals of protecting testamentary freedom and permitting sui juris beneficiaries to enjoy their property without undue restrictions. Testamentary freedom is a hallmark of the common law in democratic societies that support the rule of law and property rights generally. Accordingly, testators are, for the most part, legally entitled to dispose of assets as he or she wishes.
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