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Power of Attorney Disputes (2017)

Power of Attorney Disputes (2017)

May 23, 2017 Seminar

It has been my pleasure to chair the B’nai Brith Canada Estates and Trusts Group since 2006. Each year we provide continuing legal education seminars for lawyers and accountants on issues of interest. Our seminars qualify for CPD hours and this year we are working with a unique format.

There are four panel discussions. Each panel discussion follows a live vignette modeled after the estate planning family meetings. In these vignettes, Jordan Atin of Hull & Hull LLP will play the mediator meeting with the two fictional litigants. Felice Kirsh of Schnurr Kirsh Oelbaum Tator LLP will play Emily, the daughter who cared for her parents and Craig Vander Zee of Torkin Manes LLP plays Saul, the son who finds the estate substantially reduced by his sister.

In the first vignette, Emily explains that her parents gave her gifts because her brother already had a lot of money. From Emily’s perspective her parents understood that she gave up her personal life and career for them. The fact that she took her parents’ condo now is not such a big deal because Emily was getting the condo anyway under their wills. Finally, Mum won’t miss the money she gave to Emily because there is $1M dollars left in mum’s bank account. She does not understand why Saul is so upset. Saul feels that his sister is just not telling the truth. Saul believes that mum and dad felt sorry for her because she was a loser who could not get a job. His parents took care of Emily, not the other way around. She took advantage of her parents when they were most vulnerable. Emily took gifts when mum and dad were both suffering from dementia and their parents really did not know what they were doing. Saul wants Emily to give all those gifts back.

The first panel discussion will be chaired by Ian Hull of Hull & Hull LLP. The topic of the panel will be the Validity of Gifts to an attorney for property while the donor/grantor is of questionable capacity. The first vignette raises issues like what is the threshold of capacity for giving of gifts, the value of retrospective capacity assessments, and whether it is a breach of fiduciary duty for an attorney for property to take gifts. These issues will be discussed by the panel made up of Gregory Sidlofsky of Wagner Sidlofsky LLP, Dr. Nathan Herrmann of Sunnybrook Health Sciences, and Clare Burns of Weirfoulds LLP.


Opening Remarks / Validity of Gifts

Grounds for Removal & Role of Trustee During Litigation

Closing Remarks

Power of Attorney and Accounting

Concerns About Romance & The Elderly

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