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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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Private Public Document

The Sherman Estate case reaches the Supreme Court

The circumstances surrounding the tragic deaths of Barry and Honey Sherman remain a mystery; so too, do the heirs to their fortunes. This is because the estate trustees of Barry and Honey’s estates successfully applied to have their probate applications sealed, thus preventing the public from viewing their wills. In 2018, a reporter for the Toronto Star, Kevin Donovan, challenged the validity of the sealing order.
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In Terrorem Doctrine

The In Terrorem Doctrine and Litigation of No-Contest Clauses in Wills

There are certain situations in which one already knows that a Will is going to be challenged. It may be on the basis that there is some question about the testator’s capacity or his relationship with a new romantic partner who suddenly appeared or the bequests are unusual. Whatever the case might be, one might find yourself litigating in the face of a no-contest clause that appears within the Will that is having its validity challenged.
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Who Will Live And Who Will Die?

Who will live and who will die

Opposing counsel, Ron Bohm, was extremely effective in his responding submissions.  As I heard his arguments and saw the judge’s apparent receptiveness I feared the case was lost.  At issue was our respective clients’ arguments as to the validity of two different powers of attorney for personal care of a person I will refer to as (“Mr. G”).
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Aritificial Intellegence And Law Research

Can artificial intelligence make legal research more cost-effective without compromising quality?

The way in which legal research is conducted has evolved significantly in the past few decades with the advent of vast online directories such as Westlaw, LexisNexis, and CanLII. However, the process remains time-consuming, costly, and demanding, given the increasing complexity of the law and volume of information that must be gathered and synthesized. To address these challenges, new legal software products have been developed which apply artificial intelligence and machine learning to the process of legal research.
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Is Interim Support available?

Disinherited spouses & minor children (Dependants), with few resources, risk having their legitimate claims for support thwarted because they cannot afford to wait for their money. This video discusses how Ontario law allows Dependents to seek interim support to hold them over until their claims are adjudicated and to provide the wherewithal to prosecute their claims.
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Bad Behaviour

Will a Dependant be Denied Support for Misconduct?

Ontario’s courts and legislature offer an avenue for dependants to challenge how the estate of the deceased is distributed. While a testator generally has the right to dictate what happens to his/her assets upon death, certain relationships create responsibilities that limit this testamentary freedom, and a court might order that the estate pay the dependant support from the estate, over and above what the testator had intended. But what happens if the dependant mistreated the testator or, in the most egregious cases, caused the testator’s death?
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