What I’m Reading: Interesting Estate Litigation Articles for March 2024

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

  1. David Morgan Smith at Hull & Hull LLP (Ontario) writes about restricting testamentary autonomy on public policy grounds: https://hullandhull.com/Knowledge/2024/03/clipping-testamentary-freedom-to-protect-society/
  2. Brett Book at WEL Partners (Ontario) discusses the suspension of a lawyer for their conduct in delaying with a vulnerable older client: https://welpartners.com/blog/2024/03/lawyer-suspended-for-questionable-transaction-with-vulnerable-older-adult/
  3. Not from March, but the B.C. Law Society recently circulated a reminder that the British Columbia Law Institute has published Undue Influence Recognition and Prevention: A Guide for Legal Practitioners, which can be found here: https://www.bcli.org/publication/undue-influence-recognition-and-prevention-a-guide-for-legal-practitioners/
  4. Chigozie Enwereuzo, also at Hull & Hull LLP, discusses the doctrine of donatio mortis causa (“deathbed” gifting): https://hullandhull.com/Knowledge/2024/03/nanas-deathbed-gift-to-you-is-it-valid/
  5. Fabiana Araujo M.S. Kennedy, also at WEL Partners, writes about a B.C. case where Air Canada was held liable for negligent misrepresentation arising from a Chatbot’s statements about bereavement fares: https://welpartners.com/blog/2024/03/moffatt-v-air-canada-bereavement-fares-do-your-research/

Happy reading!

What I’m Reading: Interesting Estate Litigation Articles for February 2024

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

1. Tiansheng Wen at Hull & Hull LLP (Ontario) discusses Aeroplan points and estate planning: https://hullandhull.com/Knowledge/2024/02/aeroplan-points-and-estate-planning/

2. Gabriella Banhara and Oliver O’Brien at WEL Partners (Ontario) write about five notable estate and trust decisions from 2023: https://welpartners.com/blog/2024/02/five-notable-estates-trusts-decisions-of-2023/#_ftn1

3. A post by Onyx Law (Vancouver) discusses issues relating to the recovery of stolen inheritances in B.C.: https://onyxlaw.ca/recovery-of-stolen-inheritance-in-bc/

4. Ian Hull, also at Hull & Hull LLP, discusses how to retract a renunciation as executor: https://hullandhull.com/Knowledge/2024/02/retracting-a-renunciation/

5. Not from this month, but Step Canada published a useful resource for assisting persons in vulnerable situations: STEP: CSR A Guide for Assisting Persons in Vulnerable Situations (fliphtml5.com)

Happy reading!

What I’m Reading: Interesting Estate Litigation Articles for January 2024

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

  1. Ian M. Hull at Hull & Hull LLP (Ontario) discusses why a will cannot be used to save an imperfect gift: https://hullandhull.com/Knowledge/2024/01/can-an-imperfect-inter-vivos-gift-be-saved-by-a-will/
  2. Gabriella Banhara at WEL Partners (Ontario) writes about a recent Ontario case which considers delay by the executor in selling the deceased’s home: https://welpartners.com/blog/2024/01/what-constitutes-an-unreasonable-delay-in-the-sale-of-a-deceaseds-home-by-an-estate-trustee/
  3. Estate Litigation in the News: The CBC discusses issues relating to powers of attorney: Life can change overnight. 2 families share what people should know about power of attorney | CBC Radio
  4. Jonathon Vander Zee at de Vries Litigation LLP (Ontario) discusses the law of abatement that applies when determining how to pay estate debts and liabilities: https://devrieslitigation.com/paying-the-debts-and-liabilities-of-an-estate-and-abatement/
  5. Estate Litigation in the News: The CBC also reports on a lawsuit alleging copyright infringement, commenced by the estate of George Carlin against podcasters who used an AI program to impersonate him: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/george-carlin-ai-podcast-lawsuit-1.7098925
  6. Ian M. Hull also writes about Yukon enacting legislation to allow fiduciaries (including executors) to gain access to the digital assets of a deceased or incapacitated person: https://hullandhull.com/Knowledge/2024/01/yukon-enacts-legislation-giving-fiduciaries-access-to-digital-assets/

Happy reading!

What I’m Reading: Interesting Estate Litigation Articles for January 2023

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

  1. The British Columbia Law Institute published Undue Influence Recognition and Prevention, A Guide for Legal Practitioners:  https://www.bcli.org/publication/undue-influence-recognition-and-prevention-a-guide-for-legal-practitioners/
  2. Darien Murray at Hull & Hull LLP (Ontario) writes about a recent Ontario decision on whether a solicitor owes a duty of care to third party beneficiaries: https://hullandhull.com/Knowledge/2023/01/hall-v-bennett-estate-disappointed-beneficiaries/.
  3. Chris Cook at de Vries Litigation LLP (Ontario) discusses mirror wills and mutual wills: https://devrieslitigation.com/mirror-and-mutual-wills/?v=m
  4. David Morgan Smith at Hull & Hull LLP discusses the duty of an estate trustee to make prudent investments: https://hullandhull.com/Knowledge/2023/01/exercising-discretion-the-duty-of-an-estate-trustee-to-prudently-invest/
  5. Onyx Law (Vancouver) writes about the duty of an executor to communicate with beneficiaries: https://onyxlaw.ca/executor-not-communicating-with-beneficiaries/
  6. Estate Litigation in the News: CBC News recently published an article on a challenge to a handwritten will leaving a condo to a church: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/common-law-church-condo-court-1.6725883
  7. Estate Litigation and Celebrities:  Priscilla Presley is contesting the validity of Lisa Maria Presley’s will: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-64461305

Happy reading!

What I’m Reading: Interesting Estate Litigation Articles for December 2022

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

  1. Sara Moledina at Hull & Hull LLP (Ontario) writes about a recent Ontario decision which discusses challenges to the validity of powers of attorney: https://hullandhull.com/Knowledge/2022/12/challenging-a-power-of-attorney-for-lack-of-capacity/
  2. Brett Brock at WEL Partners (Toronto) writes about a recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision regarding interpretation of a clause in a will and the application of the “armchair rule”: Revisiting the “Armchair Rule” in Jonas v. Jonas | WEL Partners Blog
  3. Onyx Law Group published a useful primer on alter ego trusts: What is an Alter Ego Trust? (2023) | Onyx Law Group
  4. James Steele at Robertson Stromberg LLP discusses a recent Saskatchewan case in which the executors of the estate were removed due to extreme delay in administering the estate: Saskatchewan Estate Litigation Update: Nagy v. Graves, 2022 CarswellSask 590, 2022 SKKB 257 | Saskatchewan Estate Law Blog (skestatelaw.ca)
  5. Sara Moledina also discusses an interesting case where one of the witnesses to a will (who was an employee of the deceased) later refused to sign an affidavit confirming that she witnessed the deceased’s signature until her complaint regarding severance was resolved:  https://hullandhull.com/Knowledge/2022/12/witness-to-a-will-refuses-to-provide-affidavit-based-on-contentious-severance-pay/
  6. Albert Oosterhoff (also at WEL Partners) provides a detailed analysis of a United Kingdom Supreme Court case which discusses proprietary estoppel: Proprietary Estoppel: Guest v Guest | WEL Partners Blog

Happy reading and Happy New Year!

What I’m Reading: Interesting Estate Litigation Articles for November 2022

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

  1. Stan Rule at Sabey Rule (Kelowna) writes about when a promise to leave someone property in your will is enforceable, with reference to an English case.  This can be compared to the recent B.C. Supreme Court case that I discussed in a post on expectations to inherit and equitable remedies found here. Stan’s post can be found here: Rule of Law: The Taciturn and Undemonstrative Men of Somerset (rulelaw.blogspot.com)
  2. Suzana Popovic-Montag at Hull & Hull LLP (Ontario) writes about the dangers of distributing an estate before obtaining a tax clearance certificate: H&H | Beware the Dangers of Distributing an Estate Without a Tax Clearance Certificate (hullandhull.com)
  3. Suzana and Geoffrey Sculthorpe (again at Hull & Hull LLP) post about how to prove a lost will: H&H | Revisiting the Rebuttable Presumption: Proving a Lost Will (hullandhull.com)
  4. Albert Oosterhoff at WEL Partners (Toronto) posts about the effect of delusions on testamentary capacity, with reference to an English case: Delusions and Testamentary Capacity | WEL Partners Blog
  5. While not an estates case, a recent B.C. Supreme Court decision made the news, in which the court cancelled a marriage annulment, after finding that the women who appeared at the original hearing (which was conducted remotely, in this case it appears by telephone) was an imposter.  The true spouse did not find out until sometime later that her marriage had been annulled by the court: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/imposter-wife-court-marriage-1.6660517

Happy reading!

What I’m Reading: Interesting Estate Litigation Articles for October 2022

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

  1. Stan Rule at Sabey Rule writes about a recent B.C. decision which considers whether an interest in a discretionary trust is “family property” that should be divided in a family law action: Rule of Law: Cottrell v. Cottrell (rulelaw.blogspot.com)
  2. Artur Adamian at Hull & Hull LLP (Ontario) posts about an Ontario case which awarded interest to a beneficiary when the administration of the estate took longer than the “executor’s year”: https://hullandhull.com/Knowledge/2022/10/interest-payable-when-the-executors-year-ends/
  3. Artur Adamian also posted about a recent Ontario decision in which a residual beneficiary was ordered to pay occupational rent for occupying estate property: H&H | No Such Thing as Free Rent (hullandhull.com)
  4. Oliver O’Brien at WEL Partners (Toronto) comments on an Ontario decision which held that BMO Nesbitt Burns did not have a duty to one spouse to disclose that the other spouse removed her as a designated beneficiary: https://welpartners.com/blog/2022/10/corroboration-and-material-facts-a-look-at-the-recent-case-of-fair-v-bmo-nesbitt-burns-inc/
  5. Elaine Yu at de Vries Litigation LLP (Ontario) writes about a case dealing with a familiar dispute: two siblings who cannot get along and act together for their parent pursuant to a power of attorney: https://welpartners.com/blog/2022/10/corroboration-and-material-facts-a-look-at-the-recent-case-of-fair-v-bmo-nesbitt-burns-inc/
  6. Robertson Stomberg (Saskatchewan) posts about a recent Saskatchewan court decision in which a challenge to the validity of a will (on the basis of lack of capacity or coercion) was summarily dismissed as there was no genuine issue raised: https://skestatelaw.ca/2022/11/01/saskatchewan-estate-litigation-update-bell-v-bell-2022-skqb-198/

Happy reading!

What I’m Reading: Interesting Estate Litigation Articles for September 2022

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

  1. Stan Rule at Sabey Rule comments on a recent B.C. decision on disgorgement – awarding profits to beneficiaries when a trustee or other fiduciary profits from a breach of their obligations: http://rulelaw.blogspot.com/2022/09/chung-v-chung.html
  2. Dairen Murray at Hull & Hull LLP (in Ontario) writes on making reasonable efforts to locate a will when a loved one has died: https://hullandhull.com/Knowledge/2022/09/where-to-look-for-a-will/
  3. Albert Oosterhoff at WEL Partners (Toronto) posts on the determination of whether a gift of real property for a limited time is a licence or a life estate: https://welpartners.com/blog/2022/10/life-estate-or-licence-a-continuing-conundrum/
  4. Karen Watters at de Vries Litigation LLP (in Ontario) writes on undue influence in inter vivos transfers: https://devrieslitigation.com/undue-influence-in-inter-vivos-transfers/
  5. Aanchal Bajaj, also at Hull & Hull LLP (in Ontario), comments on a recent Ontario decision on the issue of the treatment of a beneficiary designation for an RRSP when the account was converted to an RRIF (a reminder to update beneficiary designations if converting!): https://hullandhull.com/Knowledge/2022/09/what-is-the-requirement-for-the-designation-of-income-funds-to-beneficiaries/
  6. Of note to lawyers, James Steele at Robertson Stromberg (Saskatchewan) writes about a recent Saskatchewan decision which prohibits the practice of altering an affidavit (“slip-sheeting”) after it has been sworn.  The affidavit must be re-sworn: https://skestatelaw.ca/2022/09/08/saskatchewan-estate-litigation-update-peters-estate-re-2022-skqb-186/
  7. CBC reports on Western University asking the Ontario courts for permission to remove the name of a professor from six academic prizes funded by his estate, following criticism that he espoused radical, racist views: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/london/kenneth-hilborn-western-university-scholarship-1.6573668

Happy reading!

What I’m Reading: Interesting Estate Litigation Articles for August 2022

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

  1. I was asked to provide comments for a recent article in Investment Executive: Disinherited children win big in Alberta and B.C. courts  | Investment Executive
  2. This month, the lawyers at Hull & Hull LLP (in Ontario) posted several articles on settlement in the estate litigation context, including these two articles on the requisite elements of a settlement agreement, and enforcement of settlement agreements: H&H | The Requisite Elements of a Binding Settlement (hullandhull.com) and H&H | A Deal is a Deal: Enforcing a Settlement Agreement (hullandhull.com)
  3. Brett Book at WEL Partners (Toronto) wrote on the capacity to marry: Capacity to Marry – Tanti v. Tanti | WEL Partners Blog
  4. CBC News recently published an investigative report on a case of elder abuse: ‘Who can you trust?’ (cbc.ca)

Happy reading!

What I’m Reading: Interesting Estate Litigation Articles for May 2022:

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

  1. Ashley Naipaul at Hull & Hull LLP (in Ontario) discusses an Alberta case which considered whether the court ought to look at the reasons behind a person’s decision to revoke their power of attorney as part of the determination of whether that person had capacity to make the revocation: https://hullandhull.com/Knowledge/2022/05/questioning-the-decision-to-revoke-or-grant-a-poa-where-capacity-and-autonomy-intersect/
  2. Albert Oosterhoff at WEL Partners (Toronto) discusses the doctrine of ademption – what happens if a will-maker makes a specific gift in their will, but then the property no longer exists or is no longer owned by the will-maker at the date of death: https://welpartners.com/blog/2022/05/ademption-by-conversion-best-v-hendry/
  3. Kantor LLP (Calgary) posts about a recent Alberta case in which an executor was removed because they were taking too long to administer the estate: https://www.kantorllp.ca/blog/failure-to-act-results-in-personal-representative-removal/
  4. Candace Cho (Onyx Law Group) writes about the issue of whether a plaintiff was a “spouse” who was entitled to claim under an intestacy: https://onyxlaw.ca/bc-inheritance-turns-on-common-law-relationship-status/
  5. Albert Oosterhoff at WEL Partners (Toronto) considers when the duty to keep accounts begins for someone who holds a power of attorney: https://welpartners.com/blog/2022/05/when-does-an-attorneys-duty-to-keep-accounts-begin/
  6. The B.C. Director of Civil Forfeiture has sued to confiscate $120,000 (a package of $50, $20 and $10 bills) from the estate of a man found dead of an overdose, claiming that the deceased was a drug trafficker, and the monies were proceeds of crime:https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/civil-forfeiture-drug-trafficking-sametz-1.6468682

Happy reading!