The Presumption is that The Court of Appeal Will Have To Weigh In Often, as a parent ages, he or she may add an adult child to their bank accounts as joint holders to assist them with their banking, out of convenience. Most of the time this doesn't lead to…
Joseph was 60 years old when he lost his wife to cancer. Online he met an Israeli named Rebecca, a 40-year-old widow. They emailed each other, grew to care for one another and decided to marry. Rebecca and her children moved into Joseph's home. The adult children from Joseph's first marriage feared that Rebecca and her children were going to take away their inheritance. Joseph assured his children that Rebecca signed an agreement under which she gave up all her claims under the Family Law Act and could not claim support against his estate when Joseph died. Joseph assured them they he left his children all of his money. Should the children have relaxed? Maybe – Maybe not.
An attorney for property ("POA") risks personal liability for failing to keep records. Given the heightened level of responsibility, judges may draw an adverse inference when the POA does not produce proper records. This video reviews a case where the judge made the attorney give back almost 1/2 Million dollars.
To most Torontonians, the Toronto Islands (the “Islands”) are known as a calm refuge away from the city, featuring beaches and picnic areas with picturesque views of the city skyline a short ferry ride from the downtown core. Some may also be aware that the Islands are home to a small, tight knit community of artists, intellectuals, and others drawn to the attractions of island living. It therefore may come as a surprise to many that the Islands were recently the site of a divisive property dispute that escalated to litigation between a resident and the trust that governs property ownership on the Islands.
Significant debts owing by a deceased will often impact the gifts that were bequeathed to the estate’s beneficiaries. Sometimes, creditors’ priority over the estate’s assets means that beneficiaries only receive a fraction of what the deceased bequeathed to them. Other times, if the estate is insolvent or bankrupt, beneficiaries will receive nothing. It is important that beneficiaries and estate planners are aware of what priority creditors have over the estate’s assets, and how each testamentary gift is impacted.
What rights does the family have when the deceased has no will? Ontario law has evolved both in terms of the common law and the legislation to provide a structure for the inheritance rights of legally married spouses, children and common law spouses. There is some overlap in those rights and some big differences.
Allegations that younger women sometimes marry older men for their money are nothing new. But with people living longer and the transfer of one trillion dollars from one generation to the next, it appears as if the concern about financial predators is more commonplace. In part, it’s because the Baby Boomer generation has considerable wealth, and while medical science has increased the average lifespan it has not made comparable progress in reducing the cognitive impairment associated with the aging process. More wealthy elderly people with heightened vulnerability are easier prey for the financial predator.
Persons seeking to prove the validity of a will (i.e. the “propounders”) bear the onus of proving that the will was formally executed. The formal requirements are set out in section 4(2) of Ontario’s Succession Law Reform Act, which states that, for a will to be valid, the testator must make or acknowledge his signature on the will in the presence of two or more attesting witnesses present at the same time, and two or more attesting witnesses must subscribe the will in the presence of the testator.
Costs are the bane of the losing litigant and a constant concern for litigation counsel. Under our “loser pays” principle the threat of paying a winning opponent’s legal costs in addition to one’s own is a bitter pill to swallow; more so as predicting a costs award is notoriously difficult given the inherently discretionary nature of the court’s jurisdiction to award costs.
Trust companies and banks are often appointed by the courts to act as an Estate Trustee During Litigation (“ETDL”). They are sometimes considered the “best choice” because of their experience, resources, objectivity and integrity. However, in recent years many accountants and solicitors have taken on ETDL appointments. Given that they do not have the experience of the banks, this blog post seeks to provide practical advice and consideration for those who are contemplating taking on the role of an ETDL.
While the Shermans’ estate planning remains largely a mystery at this point, the unknown circumstances of their deaths give rise to a further legal issue which may or may not be consequential depending on the manner in which their will(s) were drafted. Where two or more people die at the same time or in circumstances where it is uncertain which of them survived the other, there are certain complications that may arise in the administration of their estates. This issue is discussed in more detail in this blog.
Is an Attorney for Property obliged to share the financial records of the incapable person with his/her family? Are members of the family entitled to see the medical records of the incapable person or is the Attorney for Personal Care entitled to deny them access?