Toronto Estate Law Blog

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Category Archives: TOPICS

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Contestation of Claims Against an Estate

Posted in Litigation
Where an estate trustee becomes aware of a potential claim against the estate, but no claim has yet been commenced, it can be difficult to decide how to proceed.  Sections 44 and 45 of the Estates Act contain a seldom used procedure that may be of some assistance to estate trustees in this situation. Under… Continue Reading

The Two Types of Domicile

Posted in Estate Planning, Litigation
Through the use of modern technology and communication, the world is shrinking every day. We are seeing an influx of foreign residents living and owning property situated in Canada and the reverse is also common. For the purposes of estate planning and administration, the domicile of Canadians living or owning assets in other jurisdictions is… Continue Reading

More on Rebutting The Presumption of Resulting Trust

Posted in Estate & Trust, Estate Planning, Executors and Trustees, Litigation, TOPICS, Trustees, Wills
In Mroz v. Mroz, 2015 ONCA 171 (Ont. C.A.), the Court of Appeal returned to the issue of rebutting the presumption of resulting trust that arises upon a gratuitous transfer from the owner of the property to another or into joint tenancy with another. Here, the testatrix transferred her home to one child in joint… Continue Reading

Alzheimer’s Disease: Can Ultrasound Technology Restore Memory?

Posted in Capacity, General Interest, In the News
I recently came across an article published in the Globe and Mail titled, Ultrasound shows new promise as Alzheimer’s treatment. The article describes how scientist are using ultrasound technology to break apart the neurotoxic amyloid plaques that typically result in memory loss and cognitive decline in those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. While still in the… Continue Reading

Yahoo Japan & End of Life Digital Planning

Posted in Beneficiary Designations, Estate Planning, General Interest, In the News
In today’s society, not only are individuals amassing vast digital assets, but they are also increasingly present on social media.  More than ever, when planning your estate it is important to consider what happens to digital assets and your social presence when you pass away.  The importance of these questions have been addressed prior on… Continue Reading

Inheritance Expectations

Posted in Estate & Trust, Litigation, Wills
Last week I blogged about the anticipated transfer of wealth to the Millennial generation.  While the Millennials are expected to inherit in the next few decades, the Baby Boomers have already inherited and continue to inherit their parent’s fortunes. However, some may be quite disappointed when the waiting comes to an end. A Maclean’s article… Continue Reading

Insurance Policy Proceeds and Changes to the Estate Administration Tax Act

Posted in Estate & Trust, Executors and Trustees, General Interest
On February 27, 2015, I chaired a workshop titled, The Estate Administration Tax Act, 1998: New Reporting Requirements, which was provided as part of the LSUC’s Continuing Professional Development. As part of this workshop, our speakers, among other things, canvassed the various issues and concerns raised in relation to the introduction of the new Regulation,… Continue Reading

Property, Conditions & Public Policy

Posted in Public Policy, TOPICS
The recent case of Spence v. BMO Trust Company, 2015 ONSC 615 (Ont. S.C.J.) has sparked a renewed interest in how “public policy” may affect the law of wills & estates. It’s an opportune time to review the basic doctrine respecting testamentary gifts that are subject to conditions which are void for reasons of public… Continue Reading

When Fido Becomes Part of the Family

Posted in Estate Planning, Pets
Often the purpose of creating an estate plan is to ensure that your family is provided for in the event of your incapacity or death. But, what happens if you consider Fido part of your ‘family’? Historically, pets have been largely absent from estate planning discussions; however, their inclusion is becoming increasingly common as of… Continue Reading


Posted in In the News
Obituaries attempt to summarize a life in a few short paragraphs in print or online.  They may describe a person’s occupation and place of residence, list the person’s family and close friends, and set out the funeral or memorial arrangements that have been made.  They might also set out the cause of death. Stephen Merrill,… Continue Reading

Digging Around for the Will

Posted in In the News, Wills
In a grisly news story, it was reported that a woman recently pleaded guilty to digging up her late father’s casket to look for a will. The late Eddie Nash died in 2004.  He had prepared a will in 1995.  Unfortunately, one of his daughters felt that she didn’t receive a fair share of her… Continue Reading

Community Foundations

Posted in Charities, Estate Planning
I attended a very informative seminar this week hosted by our firm, and the presenters were Anne Brayley and Aneil Gokhale from the Toronto Foundation.  Through their talk, we learned more about our role as estates counsel in philanthropic giving, as well as about Community Foundations generally.  The concept of Community Foundations came to Canada… Continue Reading

Reform of the Substitute Decisions Act (SDA)

Posted in Beneficiary Designations, Estate Planning, Power of Attorney
The SDA came into effect in 1995, and created significant change to Ontario’s consent and capacity laws.  This year the SDA celebrates its 20-year anniversary of governing planning for mental incapacity and substitute decision-making for incapable adults.   At the recent Law Society of Upper Canada course given on the topic of the Annotated Power of… Continue Reading

No Monkeying Around Here!

Posted in General Interest, In the News, Pets
Our blog has covered the topic of pets on a number of occasions, most recently the extravagant tale of Bella Mia Bolasny, a pampered Maltese who is set to inherit from her wealthy owner, or “mother”, Rose Ann Bolasny. There’s no question that pets become a part of the family, but is considering them children… Continue Reading

Planning for Incapacity

Posted in Capacity, Estate Planning, Power of Attorney
According to the World Health Organization (the “WHO”), approximately 35.6 million people around the globe are currently living with dementia. Given the aging boomer population, the WHO estimates this number will double by 2030 and more than triple by 2050. Yet, despite the increased prevalence of dementia, many people still fail to consider and/or adequately plan… Continue Reading