In our previous blogs, we discussed many of the procedural and cost implications associated with the death of a party. Oftentimes, however, the death of a litigant causes more than just a procedural hiccup and can be quite prejudicial to the deceased litigant’s case. For instance, in cases where the deceased litigant’s cause of action relies heavily on the deceased litigant’s personal knowledge and recollection of events.
In this blog, we look at a unique scenario where a Trustee has no legal right to continue an action and must discontinue. Who bears the costs in this scenario? The vast majority of claims commenced by a deceased party can be continued following the person’s death. Section 38 of the Trustee Act is the statutory provision regulating the recovery of damages on behalf of a deceased.
In our last blog, we reviewed the procedural steps that need to be taken upon a litigant’s death and what steps a litigant’s executor must take in order to continue a lawsuit. But what happens if a litigant’s executor (the “Trustee”) (and/or the beneficiaries) has a sober second look at the lawsuit and decides that the deceased litigant’s case is not particularly strong and they don’t want to obtain an order to continue with the proceeding?
How does the decision in the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) in Carter v. Canada (Attorney General) (“Carter”) impact on the religious Jewish doctor? Will this landmark decision bring into conflict these doctors’ freedom of conscience and religion with their professional obligations? The Carter case sets aside federal criminal laws as they relate to physician assisted suicide. It stands for the proposition that individuals who are suffering unbearably have a constitutional right to a physician-assisted suicide. Canada now joins only eight other countries in the world that have decriminalized physician-assisted suicide in recent years. This is a fundamental change in the law.
Who has a right to get a copy of the last will and testament? Or the right to see the estate’s accounting records? What about if the executors have sat on their hands and not done anything – who can ask the court to make those executors apply for probate? The answer to this riddle is a question: who appears to have a financial interest in the estate?
Clients are sometimes understandably frustrated when the cost of defending a bogus claim is greater than settling. I want to share a story about one case where an aggressively creative motion addressed this concern. In this unreported case, the Applicant filed a Notice of Objection and commenced proceedings seeking support under Part V of the Succession Law Reform Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. S.26. The Deceased was not biologically related to the Applicant and was not receiving any financial or emotional support prior to the testator’s demise.
This cheat sheet is intended as a quick reference guide for estate litigators dealing with limitation periods. For a comprehensive review of this topic I refer the reader to articles written by senior members of the bar I have found very useful which I believe are worthwhile to review.
Courts use the equitable remedy of Rectification to fix certain errors in a Will. Exactly what evidence will be considered and the types of mistakes fixed gives rise to uncertainty and litigation. The author reviews some of these issues and recent case law on the topic.