Toronto Estate Law Blog

Toronto Estate Law Blog

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Tag Archives: estate law blog

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

Exclusive Jurisdiction Clauses

Posted in Litigation
If there is an “exclusive jurisdiction” clause in a trust settlement, may a beneficiary litigate in another jurisdiction? In a recent decision of the Privy Council (Crociani v Crociani [2014] UKPC 40), Lord Neuberger answered in the affirmative.  In Crociani, the Privy Council considers the question of whether the same test governing “exclusive jurisdiction” clauses in… Continue Reading

Is the Date to Determine Adequate Provision for a Claimant a Moving Target?

Posted in Common Law Spouses, Litigation, Support After Death
In wills variation proceedings in British Columbia, the date for determining whether a testator made adequate provision for a claimant is the date of death. However, in Eckford v. Vanderwood the British Columbia Court of Appeal considered the situation where the claimant’s circumstances changed after death, and whether that should impact upon the date to… Continue Reading

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Posted in Capacity, Litigation
At the recent Estates and Trust Summit, Ian M. Hull spoke about the difficult legal consideration of testamentary capacity, and the impact of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NDP) on one’s soundness of mind.  In Mr. Hull’s paper, the medical information cited refers to persons with NPD as viewing themselves in grandiose terms, believing themselves to be… Continue Reading

National Mobility Agreement

Posted in General Interest
Lawyers called to the Bar in one province who want to practise in another province in Canada can now generally do so with ease, thanks to a series of agreements reached among the provincial law societies. They are: The National Mobility Agreement The Territorial Mobility Agreement The Quebec Mobility Agreement With the adoption of these three… Continue Reading

The Business of Death: Funeral Industry Meeting the Needs of Different Communities

Posted in Funerals
Ontario now has its first eco-friendly burial ground. Read Sarah Hyndman Fitzpatrick’s previous blog on green burials for some more insight on this growing trend. Cobourg Union Cemetery caters to the eco-conscious. They insure that nothing goes into the ground that is not harmless and biodegradable. The Cemetery permits no markers, headstones, concrete vaults and… Continue Reading

Short Circuiting the Frivolous Will Challenge

Posted in Litigation
Facing a frivolous Will challenge can be very frustrating, time consuming and costly. In a typical Will challenge proceeding, the process can involve an application/motion for directions, documentary discovery from the parties and non parties, examination of the parties and non parties, interlocutory motions, mediation (informal or formal), expert reports, a pre-trial conference and a… Continue Reading

Arthur Miller’s Last Words

Posted in Estate & Trust
A Vanity Fair article published late last year writes on the relationship between playwright, Arthur Miller and his son, Daniel Miller who was born with Down Syndrome. Daniel was born in 1966 and institutionalized one week after being born and apparently while other family members kept in touch with Daniel, Miller rarely visited him or… Continue Reading

Practice Management Blogs: A Source for New Ideas

Posted in New Media Observations
I recently came across two entertaining and informative blogs about practice management for lawyers and law firms. David Bilinsky is a practice management advisor and staff lawyer with the Law Society of British Columbia. He writes and lectures on the subject of legal practice management and his blog, covers topics such as record management,… Continue Reading

Predatory Lending and Older Homeowners

Posted in Elder Law
The Canadian Centre for Elder Law (CCEL), a division of the British Columbia Law Institute (BCLI), issued a media release on February 28, 2008 advising that it has just released its Study Paper on Predatory Lending Issues in Canada. In its media release the CCEL noted that while the subprime mortgage crisis in the United States… Continue Reading

Royal Wills: Privacy versus Transparency

Posted in Estate & Trust, Wills
Robert Brown claims to be the unacknowledged “love child” of Queen’s Elizabeth’s late sister, Princess Margaret. In his quest to prove his claim, he has sought access to the secret Royal Wills of Princess Margaret and the Queen Mother. In 2002, shortly before the deaths of Princess Margaret and the Queen Mother, lawyers for the… Continue Reading

Charitable Gift Clauses

Posted in Estate & Trust
I am currently attending Osgoode Professional Development’s Fifth Annual Intensive Wills and Estates Workshop which has considered, among other things, common drafting errors and how to avoid them. When it comes to charitable gifts, a solicitor should confirm the information the testator provides to them. A testator may misname a charity or not know that… Continue Reading


Posted in Archived BLOG POSTS - Hull on Estates, Wills
The world wide web offers a wealth of information: some useful; some not so. Recently, I came across The website puffs “Get Rich! On Other People’s Money”, “Displace Rightful Heirs Legally!” and “Never Have to Work Again!” The web page offers a three step program: Step One: Assess Opportunities & Establish Yourself Step Two:… Continue Reading

Golden Years, or Tin?

Posted in Archived BLOG POSTS - Hull on Estates, Wills
In Thursday’s Globe and Mail, Margaret Wente wrote about “Geezers in Paradise”, and observed that tomorrow’s seniors will be able to enjoy “the most delightful old age of any generation the world has ever known”. Seniors are the fastest growing group in Canada, and by 2017, seniors will outnumber those under 15. Ms. Wente sees… Continue Reading