Estates & Wills & Trusts

Not naming an executor can add cost, complications

Death might be a certainty, but preparing for it sure isn’t, Toronto wills and estates lawyer Matthias Duensing tells The Lawyer’s Daily. Read more

Blended family feud over large estate

By Charles Ticker . A recent story about a matter before the London High Court illustrates some of the estate planning difficulties a blended family may encounter. The dispute involves the estate of Richard Thornton, a successful investment manager with Thornton Investments. Mr. Thornton’s estate is valued at an estimated £18 million. When he passed away in 2013 at the age of 81, he left half of his estate to his wife, Susie Thornton. The other half went to a trust for his family, including the three adult children he had with his first wife, Jennifer Thornton. Read more

Attorneys for property and the right to claim compensation

By Suzana Popovic-Montag . The Ontario Court of Appeal recently considered the issue of the applicable limitation period for claims for compensation on a passing of accounts. In Armitage v. The Salvation Army , the court held the Limitations Act, 2002 does not apply to claims for compensation on a passing of accounts. Read more

Hull, Popovic-Montag to share estate planning meeting tips at TLA event

Toronto estates and trusts lawyers Ian Hull and Suzana Popovic-Montag will share their methodology for conducting streamlined estate planning meetings at an upcoming practical program, presented by the Toronto Lawyers Association (TLA). Read more

Plan early for transfer of family cottage

While the family cottage is generally a place filled with happy memories, the significant sentimental and financial value that some attach to the property may lead to contentious estate battles upon the death of its owner, Toronto estates and trusts lawyers Ian Hull and Suzana Popovic-Montag write in The Huffington Post. Read more

The common law slayer rule

By Ian Hull . The common law slayer rule makes the law in Canada clear that committing murder will prevent a person from inheriting the estate of the victim. For clarity, the accused must be found guilty and exhaust all of their rights to appeal before the courts will void a testamentary gift or beneficiary designation. Read more

Joint ownership to reduce probate fee can prove problematic

Although the estate administration tax has some lawyers and their clients focusing on probate fee reduction strategies including the transfer of assets to a joint owner, this can have negative results, Toronto wills and estates lawyer Mary Wahbi writes in The Lawyers Weekly . Read more

Hull to explore connection between estates, family law

Toronto trusts and estates litigator Ian Hull will share his insights on the connection between estate matters and family law at a pair of events this April. Read more

Heirs fighting over estate of famous harpist

By Charles Ticker . A recent story from London, England is a great example of a will challenge caused by a beneficiary being disinherited. The dispute involves the heirs of Jack Hayward, a world famous harpist. In addition to playing professionally, Hayward had a successful harp business that sold, repaired, and rented harps. Hayward passed away from cancer in 2013 at the age of 81. Five months before his death, he executed a will which is now the subject of the dispute between his son Iain Hayward and his daughter, Fiona Kunicki. Read more

Focus on independent practices key to retention

Although keeping lawyers on board is the preferred route, law firms have to be realistic about the fact that not much can be done to stop individuals who exhibit an “entrepreneurial spirit” from pursuing other opportunities, Toronto trusts and estates litigator Ian Hull tells The Lawyers Weekly . Read more

Rulings provide contrasting views on court's role in probate

Although a pair of recent Ontario Court of Appeal decisions address the issue of a court’s jurisdiction and role in matters of probate, the rulings send a mixed message on the issue, Toronto estates and trusts lawyers Ian Hull and Suzana Popovic-Montag write in The Lawyer’s Daily. Read more

The position of executor: from cradle to grave – Part III

By Avi Dahary . Taking inventory of estate assets Read more

Make peace before the estate wars break out

A recent decision making an estate trustee pay costs resulting from a family squabble over scrapbooks highlights the need to plan for emotional upheaval when making a will, says Toronto-area estates litigator and mediator Charles Ticker . Read more

Use of image, likeness after death gifted under will

The use of 'personality' — such as a deceased celebrity’s image — is recognized as an asset that can be gifted under wills, and may be the subject of more court cases in the future, Toronto estates and trusts lawyer Suzana Popovic-Montag tells Law Times . Read more

Advertising for creditors: does standard practice need updating?

By Suzana Popovic-Montag . An estate trustee must ensure that the deceased’s debts have been discharged prior to making any distributions. This is usually done by advertising for creditors in a newspaper. With today’s emphasis on technology, however, is advertising in a newspaper still the most efficient way to reach potential creditors? Read more