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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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Clean hands and who gets the cottage?

Albert was always a bully and Dad loved him best. Judy became a successful doctor and, in part to get away from her dysfunctional family, she moved to Montreal. When Dad died, Judy was happy to see that her father left his $1-million estate equally to both his children. But Albert had other ideas.
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Certain obligations can trump testamentory freedom

At common law the proposition that a testator has testamentary freedom is foundational. Yet over time, Ontario’s courts and legislature have recognized that a testator has certain obligations that may trump that freedom. For example, the courts have used legal mechanisms like constructive trusts to protect disinherited spouses. The legislature has also passed laws that provide disinherited spouses with a division of net family property, as well as dependants, like children and common law spouses, with rights to receive support if they were not adequately provided for in the will. A question this seminar is raising is where to draw that line on the restriction of testamentary freedom. Will an Ontario court vary a will when a parent disinherits an adult child? The courts in British Columbia have.
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Will an Ontario court vary a will when a parent disinherits an adult child?

At common law the proposition that a testator has testamentary freedom is foundational. Yet over time, Ontario’s courts and legislature have recognized that a testator has certain obligations that may trump that freedom. For example, the courts have used legal mechanisms like constructive trusts to protect disinherited spouses. The legislature has also passed laws that provide disinherited spouses with a division of net family property, as well as dependants, like children and common law spouses, with rights to receive support if they were not adequately provided for in the will. A question this seminar is raising is where to draw that line on the restriction of testamentary freedom. Will an Ontario court vary a will when a parent disinherits an adult child? The courts in British Columbia have.
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IS DISINHERITENCE BECAUSE OF SEXUAL ORIENTATION LEGAL?

In Canada, the law balances the idea of testamentary independence against public policy concerns. Two British Columbia courts have ruled that in today’s society, homosexuality is not a factor that would justify a judicious parent disinheriting or limiting benefits to a child. To date, this issue has not been addressed in Ontario's courts.
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