This blog addresses the question whether executors can make an interim distribution contingent on beneficiaries signing releases. The authors examine how the judge in Brighter v. Brighter case dealt with this situation.
The Court’s decision in Fichera v. McAllister acts as an important reminder of the importance of creating a contemporaneous evidentiary record of a parent’s intention when gifting property to their adult children.
One of the most common questions I get asked when people find out what I do for a living is - Do I need A Will? My answer is always the same - I don’t know, but probably. I then go on to explain why I think having a will is important.
As discussed in our blog, Gift or Loan? A case review of Greco v. Frano, one of the issues frequently raised in estate litigation is how to characterize funds that were advanced to/by a deceased. These types of cases often focus on whether the funds should be considered to be a gift or a loan. One of the reasons the courts are faced with these types of claims so frequently is that these are non-arm's length transactions and family members often do not feel the need to document their intentions as they would if they were dealing with arm's length parties.
The Ontario Court of Appeal’s decision in Hayward v. Hayward serves as a reminder that will challengers do not have carte blanche to make bald, unsupported claims against a deceased or the will.
Covid-19 has forced all of us and our institutions to adapt in unprecedented ways. The laws governing wills and estates are no exception. This blog explores some of the changes that Ontario has enacted, some temporary and others permanent, to allow for video conferencing during the execution of testamentary documents.
The courts have awarded attorneys a “special fee”, in addition to any compensation permitted under the power of attorney document or in the tariff, where extra or specialized work by the attorney was necessary in the administration of the grantor’s property or their personal care.
McQuoid v. Patterson is a very interesting case that raises a number of different issues. The late Arthur Marvin Patterson Junior (“Arthur”) died intestate. Had he made a Will, Arthur could have chosen an estate trustee whose responsibility it would be to gather in his assets, pay his liabilities, and distribute Arthur’s assets as provided for on his Will.
It was recently announced that Larry King, the famous talk show host known for interviewing movie stars, musicians, authors, and world leaders, has passed away at the age of 87. King’s show “Larry King Live” was CNN’s longest standing program of 25 years, with over one million viewers per episode. King amassed a significant fortune over the course of his illustrious career, and is estimated to have had a net worth of approximately $50 million USD at the time of his passing. In addition, King’s professional career was matched by what some may call an equally eventful personal life. He was married eight times, to seven different women, and had five children. As Larry King said himself “I’m not good at marriage, but I’m a great boyfriend.” As a result, there has been considerable interest regarding who may stand to inherit King’s sizeable estate.
In the Harry Potter series, Professor Severus Snape appears to be one of Harry's nemeses, while it is later revealed that he was secretly one of Harry's staunchest allies and protectors. As the story progresses, Harry and his friends also learn that Snape was in fact a "half-blood", born with a Muggle (non-magic) father, while his mother was a witch. In the real world however, the concept of being a "half-blood" very much exists and can still play a significant role in an estate where the deceased dies without making a valid will, resulting in what is called an "intestacy".
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.