What I’m Reading: Interesting Estate Litigation Articles for March 2021

The following is a roundup of noteworthy articles published this month on estate litigation and related issues:

  1. WEL Partners (Toronto) provided a checklist of red flags and indicators of undue influence.  While the checklist is intended primarily for lawyers watching out for clients who may be unduly influenced, it is also of assistance generally when there may be a concern of undue influence:  https://welpartners.com/blog/2021/03/solicitors-negligence-in-estates-and-trusts-context-no-14-a-lawyers-checklist-red-flags-and-indicators-of-undue-influence/
  2. Arielle Di Iulio at Hull & Hull LLP (in Ontario) commented on a recent Ontario court decision in which an award of costs was made against estate trustees as a result of unreasonable conduct: https://hullandhull.com/2021/03/dewaele-v-roobroeck-the-costs-of-bad-conduct/
  3. Trevor Todd at Disinherited.com listed the ten considerations when assessing the strength of an adult independent child’s wills variation claim:  https://disinherited.com/wills-variation/wills-variaiton-the-ten-considerations/
  4. Janis Ko at Onyx Law wrote about a recent case which held that it was too late for a mother to change her mind and undo the gifting of her house to her daughter: https://onyxlaw.ca/too-late-for-mother-to-change-her-mind-after-gifting-house-to-daughter/
  5. Tyler Lin at de Vries Litigation LLP (Ontario) commented on two court decisions (one from Ontario, and one from British Columbia), which considered whether a suicide note constituted a valid will:  https://devrieslitigation.com/tale-two-suicide-notes/

Happy Reading!

What I’m Reading: Interesting Estate Litigation Articles for February 2021

The following is a roundup of noteworthy articles published this month on estate litigation and related issues:

  1. Stan Rule at Sabey Rule discusses the use of multiple wills in British Columbia to minimize probate fees, and identifies potential pitfalls to avoid:  http://rulelaw.blogspot.com/2021/02/using-two-wills-to-minimize-british.html
  2. Janis Ko at Onyx Law posted two articles on the use of mutual wills in British Columbia:  https://onyxlaw.ca/mutual-wills-clear-evidence-needed-for-binding-agreement-not-to-revoke-a-will/ and https://onyxlaw.ca/mutual-wills-clear-evidence-needed-for-binding-agreement-not-to-revoke-a-will-2/
  3. Garrett Horracks at Hull & Hull LLP (in Ontario) writes about the “prudent investor rule” which applies to trustees managing trust assets, in the context of the recent GameStop share fluctuation.  Part 2 can be found here:  https://hullandhull.com/2021/02/the-gamestop-saga-part-ii-prudent-investing/
  4. James Steele at Robertson Stromberg in Saskatchewan discusses a recent decision of the Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench, in which the court refused to summarily cure what appeared to be relatively minor deficiencies in a testamentary document because there were greater concerns about whether the document reflected the deceased’s testamentary intentions:  https://skestatelaw.ca/2021/02/05/estate-litigation-update-thorne-v-thorne/
  5.  Rebecca Rauws at Hull & Hull LLP comments on a recent Ontario decision which found that a gift in a will was void for uncertainty:  https://hullandhull.com/2021/02/estate-interest-void-for-uncertainty/

Happy Reading!

What I’m Reading: Interesting Estate Litigation Articles for January 2021

The following is a roundup of noteworthy articles published this month on estate litigation and related issues:

  1. Doreen So at Hull & Hull LLP (in Ontario) authored a two part post on a recent Ontario decision where the public guardian and trustee sought to remove an attorney (acting under a power of attorney), and set aside a $250,000 transfer to the attorney along with various other transfers totaling $350,000. The attorney breached her fiduciary duty by accepting the money: Part 1: https://hullandhull.com/2021/01/pgt-vs-cherneyko-part-1-context-and-timing-is-everything/ Part 2: https://hullandhull.com/2021/01/pgt-vs-cherneyko-part-2-breaches-of-fiduciary-duty-in-the-time-of-covid/
  2. WEL Partners (Toronto) continued their series on solicitor negligence in estates and trusts with several posts on the issue this month, including no. 8 – a review of a couple of cases on this issue: https://welpartners.com/blog/2021/01/solicitors-negligence-in-estates-and-trusts-context-no-8-case-review-mccullough-v-riffert-barbulov-v-huston-2010/
  3. Hull & Hull (Ontario) posted two articles about less common potential causes of lack of capacity:  lack of sleep (https://hullandhull.com/2021/01/can-sleeping-too-little-affect-ones-capacity/ by Suzana Popovic-Montag and Tori Joseph), and medication (https://hullandhull.com/2021/01/medication-and-mental-capacity/ by Nick Esterbauer)
  4. Janis Ko at Onyx Law discusses a case that serves as a reminder that an executor must remain neutral in a wills variation claim, https://onyxlaw.ca/bc-executors-fees-not-allowed-for-opposing-wills-variation-claim/
  5. Trevor Todd at Disinherited.com has compiled some pointers (with case references) for removal of a trustee: https://disinherited.com/removing-executors/removal-of-a-trustee-pointers/

Happy Reading!

What I’m Reading: Interesting Estate Litigation Articles for December 2020

The following is a roundup of noteworthy articles published this month on estate litigation and related issues:

  1. The suspension of limitation periods in B.C. as a result of Covid-19 ends on March 25, 2021. Stan Rule discussed some of the implications for estate litigation: http://rulelaw.blogspot.com/2020/12/suspension-of-limitation-periods-in.html
  2. WEL Partners (Toronto) published a series of posts on elder law this month, identifying potential scams and available resources. A post on a concerning case of elder abuse reported in the media can be found here: https://welpartners.com/blog/2020/12/elder-law-series-woman-with-power-of-attorney-takes-thousands-from-97-year-old-with-dementia/. A post with various resources for victims of elder abuse (or their concerned family members) can be found here: https://welpartners.com/blog/2020/12/elder-law-series-stay-safe-resources-should-you-or-your-loved-ones-become-a-victim-of-elder-abuse/
  3. Ian Hull and Daniel Enright of Hull & Hull LLP (in Ontario) discussed the Slayer Rule – a general rule of public policy that forbids a criminal from profiting from his or her own wrongdoing: https://hullandhull.com/2020/12/murder-insurance-money-and-the-slayer-rule/
  4. Ian Hull and Daniel Enright also wrote about an interesting case in which new homeowners found $600,000 in cash hidden in their house, presumably left there by the previous (and now deceased) owner. The personal representative of the estate of the deceased prior owner sought the return of the monies to the estate. The judge refused to grant summary judgment, concluding that more evidence was required to determine the matter. This means that the unusual case may return to the courts in the future. The post can be found here: https://hullandhull.com/2020/11/finders-and-keepers-and-the-hidden-half-million-dollars/

Happy reading, and Happy New Year.

What I’m Reading: Interesting Estate Litigation Articles for November 2020

The following is a roundup of noteworthy articles published this month on estate litigation and related issues:

1. Trevor Todd at disinherited.com observes that one of the top reasons for disinheritance of a child is alleged estrangement, and he considers various B.C. cases on this issue: https://disinherited.com/uncategorized/wills-variation-overcoming-estrangement/

2. Janis Ko at Onyx Law provides a case comment which also deals with the issue of alleged estrangement of a child leading to disinheritance: https://onyxlaw.ca/spite-not-a-valid-and-rational-reason-to-disinherit-a-child/

3. The court will sometimes uphold the disinheritance of an estranged child, as Janis Ko at Onyx Law observes in a case comment found here: https://onyxlaw.ca/bc-court-finds-father-had-good-reason-to-disinherit-two-sons/

4. Stan Rule provides a useful and detailed discussion of some of the issues to be considered when granting a power of attorney: http://rulelaw.blogspot.com/2020/11/powers-of-attorney-consider-allowing.html

5. In advance of U.S election, Paul Trudelle at Hull & Hull LLP (in Ontario) considered the issue of whether an attorney under a power of attorney can vote on behalf of the grantor: https://hullandhull.com/2020/11/voting-and-powers-of-attorney/

6. Polly Storey at Clark Wilson provides a detailed update on medical assistance in dying (“MAID”) in Canada: https://www.cwilson.com/medical-assistance-in-dying-a-step-forward-in-ottawa/

7. Finally, Suzana Popovic-Montag and Tori Joseph at Hull & Hull LLP (Ontario) also provide an update on MAID, and go on to discuss the difficulty of accessing these services during the Covid-19 pandemic: https://hullandhull.com/2020/11/maid-accessibility/

Happy Reading!