Estates & Wills & Trusts

Supreme Court will not hear case of a will called racist by spurned heir

In an interview with , T oronto-area estate litigator Charles Ticker says, "This ruling by the SCC reaffirms that our courts consider testamentary freedom to be paramount when dealing with private family bequests." Read more

Province should revisit issue of will revocation on marriage

Ontario should join the growing group of Canadian common-law jurisdictions that have done away with a law that automatically revokes the wills of people who marry, says Toronto wills and estates lawyer Lisa Laredo . Read more

Construction tycoon estate dispute between stepmom and stepson

By Charles Ticker. A recent estate dispute from Britain illustrates some of the conflicts that may arise among family members in blended family situations. The dispute stems from the untimely death of Ian Wooldridge. The original story was published in The Telegraph and is found here. Read more

An update for physician assisted suicide

By Ian Hull . The Canadian government, after receiving a four month extension for passage of Bill C-14 , which enables medically assisted suicide, will not meet today’s deadline set out by the Supreme Court of Canada. The bill has passed its second reading in the Senate and has obtained agreement in principle. Yet, after this vote, the Senate adjourned its hearing until June 7. As previously blogged , the bill is a result of the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Carter v. Canada (Attorney General) 2015 SCC 5 , where the Supreme Court ruled that the blanket criminal code provisions prohibiting physician assisted suicide were unconstitutional. The federal government was initially given a year’s time to put in place remedial legislation, and recently received a four month extension to this deadline. In granting the extension , the majority of the court stated that it would be unfair to those who already qualify based on Carter to delay the legislation any longer. Read more

Ticker to discuss estate disputes at CLE program

Toronto-area estate litigator Charles Ticker will speak at an upcoming Continuing Legal Education session for lawyers and accountants, hosted by B’nai Brith Canada. Read more

Toronto gig to support CMHA Ride Don't Hide event

Toronto-area estate litigator Charles Ticker and his rock band, The Faded Genes , will perform at an upcoming charity gig in support of the Canadian Mental Health Association’s (CMHA) Ride Don’t Hide initiative. Read more

Estate of man killed by police officer subject of nasty dispute

By Charles Ticker . Samuel DuBose, an unarmed black man, was shot and killed by officer Ray Tensing during a traffic stop on July 19, 2015 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Since then, Ray Tensing has been indicted on charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter. He has pleaded not guilty. The officer was also fired by the University of Cincinnati for whom he worked. Read more

Medicine, law, religion: Israel Stinson and the perfect storm

By Jennifer Hartman . For 50 days, two-year old Israel Stinson occupied a hospital bed in California, where a ventilator forced air into his lungs, keeping oxygen flowing throughout his tiny body. Israel is brain dead, and has been since April 2, 2016. Any diagnosis of brain death is based on three criteria: i) absence of brainstem reflexes (e.g. pupil reaction to light, gag reflex); ii) coma (as evidenced by zero responsiveness); and iii) failure of an apnea test. In Israel’s case, such a clinical and definitive determination was made by no fewer than three different physicians at two different hospitals. Mechanical ventilation did not give Israel life, nor is it keeping him alive. It is merely replacing the function of his lungs, which can no longer function on their own. His heart continues to beat, not because he is alive, but because heart function is not entirely dependent on the brain. Brain death is death; the term simply describes how the death was determined. Read more

Lost and found – $5 Billion

By Suzana Popovic-Montag . You’re on your way out the door and as you reach for your keys where you are absolutely certain you placed them only minutes ago, you grasp at nothing but air. Sound familiar? While most people can relate to misplacing everyday items, it may surprise some to hear that experts estimate there to be approximately $5 billion worth of unclaimed assets being held in Canada just waiting to be recovered. This raises some questions from an estates law perspective. Primarily, how are these assets being forgotten; and secondly, what can be done about it? Read more

Battle of the Bands event supports cancer research

Toronto-area estate litigator Charles Ticker and his ’60s and ’70s rock band, The Faded Genes , are taking part in the upcoming Toronto West District Battle of the Bands Dance Party, in support of prostate cancer research. Read more

Law firm collaboration fosters mentorship, rapid-fire solutions

A collaborative approach to law firm management can be well-suited to today’s competitive legal marketplace, as it ensures there’s always somebody who can step in and help a client, Toronto trusts and estates litigator Ian Hull tells Lawyers Weekly . Read more

Popovic-Montag to discuss joint sessions in mediation at OBA event

Toronto estates and trusts lawyer Suzana Popovic-Montag will share her expertise on the issue of joint sessions in civil dispute mediation at an upcoming event, presented by the Ontario Bar Association. Read more

No take-backs!

By Suzana Popovic-Montag . If you have school-aged children, you have undoubtedly heard of the ironclad playground rule “no take-backs.” Siblings often relish in reminding one another of the rule after a cherished possession has been passed along, much to the donor’s instant regret. In the schoolyard, children who dare to renege on a promise are subject to the righteous indignation of their peers. Read more

Unconscionable bargain alleged in dispute over family business

By Charles Ticker . A recent story from New Zealand published in the New Zealand Herald online is a classic example of a sibling dispute. It has dragged for over 10 years. Ray and Joyce Lee left approximately $800,000 in assets for their children at the time of their deaths in 2003 and 2004. A plastics company named High Duty Plastics was one of the assets. It was worth approximately $333,000. One of their children, Greg Lee, was employed at the company and eventually took control and bought shares for $200,000 in 2000. Two of his siblings, Robert Lee and Helen Heard, have challenged the transfer alleging an unconscionable bargain and undue influence by Greg Lee on their parents in procuring the transfer. Read more

Business succession planning

By Ian Hull . For business owners, part of a comprehensive estate plan should include a succession plan for your business. It is important to start planning the succession of your business early and revisit it from time to time. This should not be a single, discrete task, but an ongoing process over time. The Canada Business Network , a government organization providing resources and information to businesses, suggests that the process of retiring or exiting from your business could take up to five years. Furthermore, in case of unexpected illness or death, you do not want to be left without a plan. Read more