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Category Archives: General Interest

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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 [&hellip… Continue Reading

Response to Carter on End of Life Decisions

Posted in Ethical Issues, General Interest, Litigation, Uncategorized
A course by the Law Society of Upper Canada on February 19, 2015 on the topic of the Annotated Power of Attorney for Personal Care was particularly interesting given consideration of the pivotal decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in Carter v. Canada (Attorney General) 2015 SCC 5.  We blogged on the case here. [&hellip… Continue Reading

My Cousin Once/Twice/Thrice Removed

Posted in Beneficiary Designations, Estate Planning, General Interest
In estate litigation we often have to explain to the court, in detail, the relationship between different family members. When a client says that a person is their brother or mother, that is usually pretty straightforward. One of the most confusing terms used to describe a familial relationship is the word “cousin”. We use the [&hellip… Continue Reading

Moore v. Getahun 2015 ONCA 55: Appropriate Communication Between Counsel and Experts

Posted in General Interest, In the News, Litigation
The highly anticipated Court of Appeal decision in Moore v. Getahun was finally released on January 29, 2015.  Moore v. Getahun is an important appellate decision that dealt with the preparation and use of expert reports in the context of civil litigation. To make a long story short, the Court of Appeal has rejected the [&hellip… Continue Reading

Have you registered your consent to be an organ donor?

Posted in Estate Planning, General Interest, Health / Medical
Today, in Ontario, over 1,500 people are on the waiting list for a life-saving organ transplant. One of these individuals dies every three days. Despite the overwhelming need for organs and tissues, Canada has one of the lowest rates of organ donation in the world.  While many countries including, Spain, Italy, Austria and Belgium have adopted [&hellip… Continue Reading

Summary Judgment in Estates: Determining Fact from Fiction

Posted in General Interest, Litigation
The recent decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal (“COA“) in Trotter Estate, 2014 ONCA 841 concerns the process by which the Court determines whether there is a genuine issue requiring a trial (in a summary judgment motion). The Appellants challenged the validity of their mother’s Will as well as certain inter vivos real property [&hellip… Continue Reading

Spending & Giving during the Holidays

Posted in Charities, General Interest, In the News
Last week I blogged about the holiday charitable giving spirit. I subsequently came across an article that addressed Canadian spending patterns during the holidays, including the disparity in holiday spending among affluent and average-income Canadians. Expenses around this time of year included gift buying, travelling and, of course, giving to charity. The BMO Harris Private [&hellip… Continue Reading

The Legacy of Alfred Nobel

Posted in General Interest, Wills
This week, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to its youngest ever recipient, seventeen-year-old Malala Yousafzai.  Many people know that the Nobel Prizes are named after their founder, Alfred Nobel, who died in 1896.  Fewer are familiar with the story behind the creation of the prestigious awards that almost never came into existence. Earlier this [&hellip… Continue Reading

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer … He’ll Go Down in (Estate Royalty) History!

Posted in Estate Planning, General Interest
The Estates of writers, musicians and other artists often generate revenue – sometimes in the hundreds of millions of dollars – through intellectual property rights (royalties). The Estate of Johnny Marks is one such example. While Marks died in 1985, the royalty rights on his hits, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”, “Silver and Gold”, “A Holly [&hellip… Continue Reading

Pro Forma No?

Posted in General Interest, Litigation
The Advocates Journal recently wrote about a very interesting issue that arose in Elgner v. Freedman Estate in respect of a lawyer’s affidavit that was submitted in support of a client’s motion. In Elgner v. Freedman, Justice Morgan of the Superior Court of Justice was asked to consider the extent to which privilege is waived [&hellip… 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 [&hellip… Continue Reading

Hot-Tubbing Experts

Posted in General Interest, Litigation
‘Hot tubbing’– or ‘concurrent evidence’ as it is more formally known, is a means of eliciting expert evidence at trial, whereby the expert witnesses give their evidence in chief together and by engaging in discussion directly with the trial judge and each other. This approach is significantly different from the traditional model of cross-examination, in [&hellip… 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 [&hellip… Continue Reading

Disinheriting Killers: The Forfeiture Rule

Posted in Ethical Issues, General Interest, In the News, Uncategorized
A man in Lancashire, England was recently barred from receiving a benefit from the Estate of the person who was murdered at his hands.  Paul Chadwick stabbed his common law partner Lisa Clay and his son Joseph Chadwick to death in their home.  Paul admitted to two counts of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished [&hellip… Continue Reading

Have you ever considered what your retirement income will look like?

Posted in General Interest, In the News, Pension Benefits
Saving for retirement is always a hot topic in the Estates and Trusts bar and it should really be a hot topic with anyone over the working age. There was an interesting article yesterday in the Globe and Mail about our “blind” reliance on pension income to support us in retirement.  Mr. Carrick insists that [&hellip… 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 [&hellip… 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 [&hellip… Continue Reading