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Can someone be held liable for the misdeeds of a co-executor?

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.
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Majority Rules

Majority-Rules & Exculpation Clauses

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.
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The Public Guardian and Trustee and Charities

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.
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joint tenancy

Managing Joint Ownership and the Presumption of a Resulting Trust

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.
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rules to collapse a Trust

Understanding and Applying the Rule to collapse a Trust

There is a tension between the two sometimes conflicting goals of protecting testamentary freedom and permitting sui juris beneficiaries to enjoy their property without undue restrictions. Testamentary freedom is a hallmark of the common law in democratic societies that support the rule of law and property rights generally. Accordingly, testators are, for the most part, legally entitled to dispose of assets as he or she wishes.
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Estate Litigation

Interpreting a Will: Small Details, Large Consequences

Sometimes, people in second marriages who make wills balance two loyalties. On the one hand there are the children of the first marriage. On the other hand there is the new spouse. The road often travelled is to provide the spouse with a life interest in the estate assets. But, what does that mean? For example, who should pay the realty taxes or repairs? What about landscaping or utilities? If the intent was to provide the spouse with income to support her is she entitled to give that money away to someone else? Well – that depends on what the will says.
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Estate and Trusts

Trustbuster – The Rule in Saunders v Vautier

Trusts are often used to control children and grandchildren from the grave. Sometimes the will-maker (“Testator”) holds back the money until the beneficiary reaches a certain age. Other times the money is held back until the beneficiary graduates from college or gets married. Many a beneficiary resent the conditions attached to their inheritance and they wonder – can we “bust the trust”? Well the answer is maybe - if you fall into the Saunders v Vautier Rule.
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