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Category Archives: TOPICS

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No More Carrigan

Posted in Beneficiary Designations, Common Law Spouses, Pension Benefits
The Ontario Court of Appeal released their decision in Carrigan v. Carrigan Estate (“Carrigan”) on October 31, 2012.  Carrigan drastically changed our understanding of the priority scheme for the payment of pre-retirement death benefits to surviving spouses under the Ontario Pension Benefits Act (“PBA”).  Carrigan was an important decision which dealt with the issue of … Continue Reading

Service without a Smile

Posted in Litigation, Uncategorized
In a recent endorsement, Justice E. M. Morgan rejected a proposal made by counsel for the Defendants that would have introduced what could have been an amusing new requirement for service of documents. In Ontario, Rule 16 of the Rules of Civil Procedure prescribes the manner in which documents must be served.  Subject to certain … Continue Reading

Late actor’s whiskey brand the subject of litigation

Posted in Litigation
John Wayne was known by many of his fans as “the Duke”.  Now, thirty-five years after the late actor’s death, his estate is involved in litigation with respect to the use of Wayne’s iconic nickname and image. The Duke brand of bourbon was inspired by recently discovered bottles belonging to Wayne’s personal collection of whiskeys … Continue Reading

Parents are not having Financial Planning Discussions with their Children Early Enough

Posted in Estate Planning, General Interest, In the News
A recent study from an American investment firm notes some surprising revelations about the conversations parents are having with their adult children about financial planning. Approximately 40% of parents have not discussed issues such as estate planning with their children, nor have they discussed how they may fund possible health needs in old age.  The … Continue Reading

Seniors Remain Optimistic About Golden Years

Posted in Elder Law, In the News
The average Canadian will struggle to fund retirement.  However, despite increasing longevity, resulting in greater costs associated with personal care later in life, a recent study suggests that a significant majority of the aging population is optimistic that they will continue to benefit from a high quality of life in old age.  Survey results indicate … Continue Reading

When It Comes To Costs, Location Matters

Posted in Litigation
In recent costs ruling, a Kingston court considered a claim for costs by out-of-town counsel.  The court concluded that the losing party should only pay costs based on what local counsel would charge. The issue on the motion was the removal of plaintiffs’ counsel due to an alleged conflict.  As the matter could not be … Continue Reading

Canadian Alzheimer’s Study Finds Gene That Delays Onset of Alzheimer’s

Posted in Capacity, In the News
An exciting recent Canadian study has found a genetic variation that delays the onset of Alzheimer’s by as much as four years. The study, undertaken by Judes Poirier and his team at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute and McGill University in Montreal, found a variant of a cholesterol-regulating gene which can delay the onset … Continue Reading

Evidence of Testamentary Capacity

Posted in Capacity, Uncategorized
When a person challenges the validity of a will on the basis of lack of capacity, it’s standard to obtain the notes and files of the lawyer who drafted the will.  The litigation lawyer will then review those records to see whether the drafting solicitor had any concerns about capacity, and what steps they took … Continue Reading

Dispensing with Bonds in Guardianship Applications

Posted in Guardianship
The Substitute Decisions Act governs the appointment of guardians for property.  According to section 25, when a Judge orders an appointment for a guardian of property, he or she may “require that the guardian post security in the manner and amount that the court considers appropriate.”  The purpose of the bond requirement is to protect … Continue Reading

Supported and co-Decision-making: Law Commission of Ontario Considers Alternatives to Substitute Decision Making

Posted in Capacity, Guardianship, Power of Attorney
I recently blogged about the Law Commission of Ontario’s discussion paper here and Suzana Popovic-Montag followed up on my post here.  Today I want to discuss the third part of the paper, which deals with Ontario’s substitute decision-making systems. Presently, Ontario’s substitute decision-making system is defined by five features.  First, it is based upon a … Continue Reading

Law Commission of Ontario’s Proposed Changes to Capacity Assessments

Posted in Capacity, Elder Law, Guardianship, Power of Attorney
Ian Hull recently blogged about the Law Commission of Ontario’s discussion paper on Ontario’s legislation that governs legal capacity, decision-making and guardianship. As Ian Hull noted, the 320 page paper proposes several reforms.  One of the proposals I found more interesting was the proposal to change the standards and tests for capacity in Ontario law.  … Continue Reading

Law Commission of Ontario Proposes Changes to Ontario’s Capacity, Decision-making and Guardianship Legislation

Posted in Capacity, Guardianship, Power of Attorney, Uncategorized
I recently blogged about proposed changes to Nova Scotia’s Powers of Attorney Act.  The Law Commission of Ontario is now also considering changes to Ontario’s legislation that governs legal capacity, decision-making and guardianship, including the Substitute Decisions Act, the Health Care Consent Act and the Mental Health Act. The 320 page discussion paper not only … Continue Reading

The Importance of Providing Reasons

Posted in General Interest, Litigation
Blundell v Milmine, a decision handed down last Thursday by the Ontario Court of Appeal, underscores the importance of judges providing adequate reasons for their conclusions.  Judgments may be appealed on the basis that the conclusions reached are not supported by the evidence.  They may also be appealed on questions of law. Sometimes, however, the … Continue Reading

Bill C-591: Manslaughter, Murder and the Canada Pension Plan

Posted in Beneficiary Designations, General Interest, Pension Benefits
On Monday June 9, 2014, Dave van Kesteren, the Conservative MP for Chatham-Kent-Essex, introduced Bill C-591, “An Act to amend the Canada Pension Plan and the Old Age Security Act (pension and benefits)”. The Bill seeks to plug a loophole in the Canada Pension Plan and the Old Age Security Act which allows persons who … Continue Reading

Piljak Estate v. Abraham: Is Excised Human Tissue Personal Property?

Posted in Ethical Issues, Health / Medical
A recently released endorsement considered the question of whether excised human tissue may be considered property for the purposes of Rule 32.01 of the Rules of Civil Procedure.  Rule 32.01 allows the court to make an order for the inspection of real or personal property provided it is necessary “for the proper determination of an … Continue Reading

Wills of Famous Historical Britons available Online

Posted in Uncategorized, Wills
The National Archives of the United Kingdom has an online searchable catalogue of historical wills and probate filed at the Prerogative Court of Canterbury between 1384 and 1858.  Until 1858, authority for probate rested with the Church of England ecclesiastical courts. The Prerogative Court of Canterbury had jurisdiction over the Estates of wealthy individuals. A … Continue Reading

Promoting Awareness

Posted in Charities, Estate Planning
There is going to be a boom.  I am not referring to an oil boom, nor the boom made by an explosion, but an inheritance boom.  Given this impending inheritance boom, it is important that people are made aware as to how they can properly protect themselves. A recent article cites that the world is … Continue Reading

Selling the Los Angeles Clippers

Posted in In the News, Trustees
There has been much in the news lately surrounding the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers stemming from the remarks made by the owner, Donald Sterling.  However, in the estates and trusts world, interest has revolved around the fact that the Clippers is owned by the Sterling Family Trust (the “Trust“) and the implications this … Continue Reading