There are times when one executor can be held liable for the misdeeds of another. In Cahill v. Cahill the Court dealt with this issue. This educational video highlights whether all estate trustees have a responsibility to fully participate in the administration of the trust and under what circumstances liability flows from delegation and failure to supervise their co-executor.
There are times where an executor unduly delays in both the administration and distribution of the estate. While a simple estate should be distributed within the first year following the death of the testator, some estates are far more complicated and take a great deal longer. When the executor takes too long the beneficiaries have legal options. This educational video highlights the issues faced by the executors, beneficiaries and the lawyers who represent them.
Lawyers are often the first and most important line of defence in ensuring that a client is able to express their testamentary wishes freely in an estate plan and Will. Moreover, a lawyer who does not take reasonable steps to protect his or her client against undue influence may become personally liable (and subject to professional discipline).
Majority-Rules Clauses are designed to avoid deadlock in executors’ decision making. Exculpation Clauses seek to protect executors from liability. The purpose of this paper is to examine how these two clauses sometimes, independently or in combination, produce unexpected negative consequences leading to litigation.
The doctrine of "mutual wills" came into being centuries ago as a part of English equity, well before modern family law was developed. In essence, a "mutual will" really doesn't refer to a particular will but rather to an agreement - an agreement not to make a later inconsistent will.
The Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee (the “PGT”) has wide jurisdiction over protecting the interests of charities and charitable property. That jurisdiction includes restating charitable purpose trusts through court order without appearing before a judge, and conducting investigations into the misallocation of charitable property. This article discusses these powers of the PGT, and provides best practice tips to those engaging with the PGT in these situations.
Joint tenancy and the right of survivorship are concepts that many non-lawyers have at least some exposure to, even if they do not know it by name. For those who own property jointly with another person as joint tenants, whether it is real property (i.e. you house) or personal property (i.e. a joint bank account), the right of survivorship derived from the joint tenancy relationship means that, upon the first person’s death, the entirety of that individual’s interest in the property is transferred to the surviving joint tenant.
The circumstances surrounding the tragic deaths of Barry and Honey Sherman remain a mystery; so too, do the heirs to their fortunes. This is because the estate trustees of Barry and Honey’s estates successfully applied to have their probate applications sealed, thus preventing the public from viewing their wills. In 2018, a reporter for the Toronto Star, Kevin Donovan, challenged the validity of the sealing order.
There are certain situations in which one already knows that a Will is going to be challenged. It may be on the basis that there is some question about the testator’s capacity or his relationship with a new romantic partner who suddenly appeared or the bequests are unusual. Whatever the case might be, one might find yourself litigating in the face of a no-contest clause that appears within the Will that is having its validity challenged.
Opposing counsel, Ron Bohm, was extremely effective in his responding submissions. As I heard his arguments and saw the judge’s apparent receptiveness I feared the case was lost. At issue was our respective clients’ arguments as to the validity of two different powers of attorney for personal care of a person I will refer to as (“Mr. G”).
The way in which legal research is conducted has evolved significantly in the past few decades with the advent of vast online directories such as Westlaw, LexisNexis, and CanLII. However, the process remains time-consuming, costly, and demanding, given the increasing complexity of the law and volume of information that must be gathered and synthesized. To address these challenges, new legal software products have been developed which apply artificial intelligence and machine learning to the process of legal research.
This blog will examine one of the most common mistakes made by people using DIY homemade wills - asking a beneficiary to witness the execution of the will.