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toronto island

What is a “child” Part II – Clash of the Toronto Islanders

To most Torontonians, the Toronto Islands (the “Islands”) are known as a calm refuge away from the city,  featuring beaches and picnic areas with picturesque views of the city skyline a short ferry ride from the downtown core. Some may also be aware that the Islands are home to a small, tight knit community of artists, intellectuals, and others drawn to the attractions of island living. It therefore may come as a surprise to many that the Islands were recently the site of a divisive property dispute that escalated to litigation between a resident and the trust that governs property ownership on the Islands.
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Creditors versus beneficiaries

Who Gets Priority? Beneficiaries vs. Creditors of an Estate

Significant debts owing by a deceased will often impact the gifts that were bequeathed to the estate’s beneficiaries. Sometimes, creditors’ priority over the estate’s assets means that beneficiaries only receive a fraction of what the deceased bequeathed to them. Other times, if the estate is insolvent or bankrupt, beneficiaries will receive nothing. It is important that beneficiaries and estate planners are aware of what priority creditors have over the estate’s assets, and how each testamentary gift is impacted.
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intestacy rules

Rights of spouses and children during an intestacy

What rights does the family have when the deceased has no will? Ontario law has evolved both in terms of the common law and the legislation to provide a structure for the inheritance rights of legally married spouses, children and common law spouses. There is some overlap in those rights and some big differences.
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Limitation Period and Professionals

Limitation Periods and Professional Advisors: the ‘appropriate’ time to take action

Clients place a considerable amount of trust and confidence in their professional advisors (hereafter referred to simply as “professionals”) in the belief that, with their professional expertise, a particular outcome may be achieved. When the professional’s acts or omissions cause the client to suffer loss, the client is often faced with the following choice: sue the professional and pursue their legal rights through the courts, or allow the professional to take steps to try and remediate the issue.
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Golddigger Spouse

The Predatory Marriage Phenomenon

Allegations that younger women sometimes marry older men for their money are nothing new. But with people living longer and the transfer of one trillion dollars from one generation to the next, it appears as if the concern about financial predators is more commonplace. In part, it’s because the Baby Boomer generation has considerable wealth, and while medical science has increased the average lifespan it has not made comparable progress in reducing the cognitive impairment associated with the aging process. More wealthy elderly people with heightened vulnerability are easier prey for the financial predator.
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prove it

Does Expert Evidence Impact the Onus of Proving a Will’s Validity?

Persons seeking to prove the validity of a will (i.e. the “propounders”) bear the onus of proving that the will was formally executed. The formal requirements are set out in section 4(2) of Ontario’s Succession Law Reform Act, which states that, for a will to be valid, the testator must make or acknowledge his signature on the will in the presence of two or more attesting witnesses present at the same time, and two or more attesting witnesses must subscribe the will in the presence of the testator.
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interim court costs

The Sighting of a Rare Beast: Interim Costs

Costs are the bane of the losing litigant and a constant concern for litigation counsel. Under our “loser pays” principle the threat of paying a winning opponent’s legal costs in addition to one’s own is a bitter pill to swallow; more so as predicting a costs award is notoriously difficult given the inherently discretionary nature of the court’s jurisdiction to award costs.
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