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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In this very short video lawyers discuss the executor’s duty to account and a seminal case where a judge refused to award any compensation and drew an adverse inference because the executor failed to provide an honest accounting.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a precedent-setting drop in the stock markets across the globe. Could executors be held liable for the estate’s losses in their stock portfolios? The case of Groome Estate v. Groome, 2016 ONSC 7850 (“Groome”) is a cautionary tale to those estate trustees that make speculative investments on behalf of an estate.