Estates & Wills & Trusts

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

What to do if you receive a Not Clear Certificate

By Ian Hull . What happens if an individual dies intestate , and upon application for a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee Without a Will, a Not Clear Certificate is returned to the applying party? Read more

Digital estate plan important for anyone with online presence

In today’s virtual world, failing to include digital assets in an estate plan comes with certain risks, including the inability of heirs and executors to access online accounts and the chance that online content will remain undiscovered, Toronto estates and trusts lawyer Suzana Popovic-Montag tells The Lawyers Weekly . Read more

Siblings battle over Meccano sets

By Charles Ticker . A recent story from Whanganui, New Zealand illustrates how emotionally charged estate disputes can occasionally become. The dispute involves the estate of a Whanganui man, Bert van der Lubbe, who passed away in Feb. 2015. His estate was mainly comprised of a share in a Whanganui property and several Meccano sets. He passed away at age 66 and was allegedly diagnosed as schizophrenic. After he passed away, two wills were found, one signed in 2002 and one signed in 2013. This resulted in a dispute between several of the siblings. Read more

Communication skills critical in estate litigation

Estate litigation is a daunting and unfamiliar world for most people, and having an advocate guide them through the process and listen to their wishes is critical, says Toronto trust and estate litigator Felice Kirsh. Read more

Decision is a wake-up call for fiduciaries: Ticker

Estate trustees can’t always assume they will be protected from litigation costs following a recent decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal, Toronto-area estates litigator and mediator Charles Ticker writes in The Lawyers Weekly. Read more

Responsiveness, communication vital to client satisfaction

By nature , estate litigation can be an emotional roller-coaster, and having a lawyer walk clients through the process goes a long way to calming their nerves, says Toronto trusts and estates litigator Ian Hull. Read more

Wills should account for stored sperm and eggs: Popovic-Montag

Estate planners need to know about clients’ stored genetic material to ensure their consents are properly spelled out, says Toronto estates and trusts lawyer Suzana Popovic-Montag. Read more

Henson trust advantages extend to families without special needs

Although some lawyers may know that Henson trusts are useful for families with members who have disabilities, many may not realize that there are other uses for these trusts for those who don’t have special needs, Ottawa disabilities and estate planning lawyer Kenneth Pope writes in The Lawyers Weekly . Read more

Validity of in terrorem conditions

By Suzana Popovic-Montag . An in terrorem condition attached to a testamentary gift keeps a beneficiary “in fear” of losing entitlement to the gift if they partake in certain actions that are noted by the testator. Read more

Wills and estates lawyer Wahbi lands at Fogler Rubinoff

Toronto wills and estates lawyer Mary Wahbi found her legal calling on her very first day at work following qualification. Read more

Ming porcelain collection dispute

By Charles Ticker . A recent story from the United Kingdom found here illustrates what happens when siblings cannot come to an agreement on how to divide an estate. The dispute involves the children of Sir Michael Butler. Butler was a former adviser to Margaret Thatcher. The dispute centres around a Ming porcelain collection comprised of over 500 pieces dating back to the 17th century. Butler accumulated the collection over 50 years. He did this while he travelled the world as a diplomat under Thatcher. The collection is known as the Butler Family Collection. Read more