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Defining Death

Defining Death – The Court of Appeal Weighs in on McKitty v. Hayani

How do we know when someone has died? This question has been the subject of debate in Western societies since at least the eighteenth century, and in modern times has become increasingly fraught due to advancements in medical knowledge and resuscitative technology. Historically, the conception of the moment of death was largely based upon cessation of a person’s breathing and heartbeat. However, in recent years most countries have accepted that “brain death” is an additional basis upon which to define death.
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Passing Accounts Cost

Costs in Passing of Accounts

There are two ways a trustee can have their administration approved and be discharged. First, they may apply for a passing of accounts pursuant to section 23 of the Trustee Act. Alternatively, they “can avoid the cost and delay of a passing, and instead ask the beneficiaries to approve their administration and provide for their informal discharge directly” by way of a release.
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Joint Tenant

Severing A Joint Tenancy by Course of Dealing

One of the most important features of a joint tenancy is the right of survivorship. The right of survivorship means that when one of the owners dies, his or her interest in the property passes to the other named owner. To avoid this result and have an ownership interest pass to an estate, the joint tenancy must be severed so that each ownership interest is converted to a tenancy in common.
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Court Appointed Monitor

A Monitor in Estates Proceedings? A case review of D’Angelo Estate

In D’Angelo Estate, Re, the Court held that it had jurisdiction to appoint a monitor to supervise the actions of the co-executors and ensure that the Estate was properly administered. Justice Quinn relied on the court’s discretion to attach conditions to the grant of probate, as are necessary, to achieve the wishes of the testator. In the specific circumstances of this case, it was determined that the appointment of a Monitor would respect the testator’s choice of estate trustees.
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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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