Toronto Estate Law Blog

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Category Archives: Executors and Trustees

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A Cautionary Tale on Separating Legal Costs

Posted in Ethical Issues, Executors and Trustees, Trustees
The recent decision in Georganes v. Bludd 2014 ONSC 4655 (CanLII) addresses the issue of the entitlement of an Estate Trustee (in defending litigation) to have their legal fees paid by the Estate, despite having a personal interest in the litigation. The background litigation involved the ownership of real property in Georgetown, Ontario.  Pursuant to … Continue Reading

Where in the World is Casey Kasem?

Posted in Executors and Trustees, Funerals, General Interest, In the News
The legendary Top 40 Countdown DJ, Casey Kasem, passed away in June, 2014 after a dramatic Hollywood style guardianship dispute between Casey’s wife, Jean Kasem, and his daughter from a prior relationship, Kerri Kasem.  The “dad-knapping” of this famous American from California to Seattle while he was still alive has already been covered by our … Continue Reading

Proposed Law Would Assist Estate Trustees

Posted in Executors and Trustees
Guelph’s MP, and former Estate lawyer, Frank Valeriote, recently tabled Bill C-247, the Service Canada Mandate Expansion Act (the “Bill”).  If enacted the Bill would require the Minister of Employment and Social Development to establish Service Canada as the single point of contact for the Government of Canada in respect of all matters relating to the … Continue Reading

Simplified procedures for small estates?

Posted in Estate Planning, Executors and Trustees, General Interest
When a person dies in Ontario and leaves a Will, his or her named Estate Trustees often need to obtain a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee (previously known as “probate”) in order to deal with the Estate’s assets. The Certificate serves as: proof of the deceased’s death; authentication of the propounded Will as the … Continue Reading

Reducing Estate Administration Tax

Posted in Beneficiary Designations, Estate & Trust, Executors and Trustees, News & Events
Well known American thriller author Tom Clancy, known for novels such as The Hunt for Red October, passed away on October 1, 2013 at the age of 66.  Clancy was married to his first wife, with whom he had four children – Michelle, Christine, Kathleen and Thomas, until 1999.  After divorcing his first wife, Clancy … Continue Reading

What Happens If The Assets Are Not Enough?

Posted in Estate Planning, Executors and Trustees, Wills
When there is a shortfall between what payments an estate is required to pay and the value of the estate, some problems can arise. Two such situations include: (i) when the estate assets are insufficient to satisfy the debts and (ii) when the estate assets are insufficient to distribute specific bequests. Firstly, sometimes a deceased’s … Continue Reading

Judge Decides the Sale of the L.A. Clippers

Posted in Capacity, Executors and Trustees, General Interest, In the News, Litigation, Trustees, Uncategorized
In the latest high profile trust dispute to hit the courts, the Los Angeles County Superior Court has ruled in favour of Rochelle “Shelley” Sterling thereby giving her the authority to sell the Los Angeles Clippers to Steve Ballmer for a ground breaking amount of $2 billion dollars on July 28, 2014. Our in-house sports … Continue Reading

Drafting Solicitors Still Able to Act as Estate Trustees

Posted in Estate Planning, Executors and Trustees
On October 1, 2014, amendments to the Law Society of Upper Canada’s Rules of Professional Conduct will come into effect.  The new Rules of Professional Conduct specifically address professional obligations of estate planning lawyers, providing new guidance and restrictions. One of the new provisions prohibits a lawyer from drafting a will in which he or … Continue Reading

Extreme Burials

Posted in Executors and Trustees, Funerals, Wills
The Last Will of Napoleon Bonaparte states, “…It is my wish that my ashes may repose on the banks of the Seine, in the midst of the French people, whom I have loved so well”.  It is interesting to note that Napoleon wishes, and not instructs, this type of burial.  In Ontario, there is no … Continue Reading

The King of Estate Trustees

Posted in Executors and Trustees
It is well known that Michael Jackson lived a captivating lifestyle.  From successful records, to extraordinary pets, to palatial mansions, he was undoubtedly the King of Pop.  It therefore came to me as no surprise to learn that his Estate is as equally entertaining.  An article by Forbes highlights the top legal challenges facing the … Continue Reading

Renunciation, Resignation, Passing Over And Removal of Estate Trustees

Posted in Executors and Trustees, Litigation
A recent decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal, Chambers Estate v. Chambers, 2013 ONCA 511, deals with the concepts of renunciation, resignation, removal and passing over of an estate trustee, and the sometimes subtle distinctions amongst the concepts. There, a “renunciation” is defined as the “formal act whereby an executor entitled to a grant of probate … Continue Reading

Show Me the…Creditor

Posted in Executors and Trustees
Although one of the key duties of an estate trustee is to distribute estate assets to beneficiaries,  before getting caught up with any such distribution, estate trustees must also fulfill another key duty – paying any debts owed by the deceased. In fulfilling this latter duty, it is now considered prudent behaviour for an estate … Continue Reading

Care, Pains and Trouble: Compensation of Estate Trustees

Posted in Executors and Trustees
  A recent article on Legal Feeds, a blog supported by Canadian Lawyer and Law Times, highlighted some recent developments in the case law regarding the compensation of estate trustees and legal fees. In particular, it focused on an endorsement in Hooke Estate, in which strict adherence the “percentages” approach was criticized by the Court. The … Continue Reading

Personal Property, Personal Risk

Posted in Executors and Trustees
A story out of Shreveport, La., should serve as a lesson to Estate Trustees dealing with the administration of personal property.  In 2009, Trisha McNeal bought a painting for $2.00 at a garage sale which appeared to the seller to be worthless, but had the word "Picasso" written on the back.  The seller was a friend … Continue Reading