In Walker v. Farsijani (“Walker”), Peter Walker sought to recover $96,000 he claimed to have transferred to Maryam Farsijan (with whom he was in an intimate relationship at the time). Maryam refused to return the funds claiming that she had received the money as a gift. Peter said it was a loan.
Individuals who act as a trustee or an attorney for property are statutorily entitled to compensation for the time and effort they have expended in their respective roles. Notwithstanding the entitlement to compensation, courts will not reward individuals who fall below their common law or statutory obligations. The question then, is what actions or omissions must an individual do in order to disentitle themselves from their statutory entitlements to compensation.
Harry, 85, wants to marry 75-year-old Esther, but he does not want to lose his widower's pension. They agree not to obtain a marriage license or register the marriage, but instead to have only a ritual ceremony in a rabbi's office. Harry dies and his will leaves his assets to his children. Does only a religious marriage ceremony give Esther any rights to Harry's estate?
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.
Clients place a considerable amount of trust and confidence in their professional advisors (hereafter referred to simply as “professionals”) in the belief that, with their professional expertise, a particular outcome may be achieved. When the professional’s acts or omissions cause the client to suffer loss, the client is often faced with the following choice: sue the professional and pursue their legal rights through the courts, or allow the professional to take steps to try and remediate the issue.
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.