Estates & Wills & Trusts

Brain death: turmoil at the intersection of law and medicine

By Jennifer Hartman . In Roseville, California, Jonee Fonseca and Nate Stinson await a decision by a federal judge with respect to the fate of their little son. On April 2 2016, two-year-old Israel Stinson suffered an asthma attack, depriving his brain of oxygen for more than forty minutes. He was seen in the E.R., admitted to hospital, suffered a second attack, lapsed into a coma, and was placed on a ventilator. Days later, he was declared brain dead by doctors at Kaiser Permanente Center in Sacramento (Kaiser Permanente). According to the Uniform Determination of Death Act , an individual is dead when he or she “has sustained either (1) irreversible cessation of circulatory and respiratory functions, or (2) irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain, including the brain stem.” Read more

Certainty of intention in creating a trust

By Ian Hull . It is well recognized that in order to create a valid trust, the “ three certainties ” must all be present. An Ontario Superior Court judgment from November 2015 considered the three certainties, particularly the certainty of intention, and found that the intention was absent and thus the trust failed. Read more

Boutique's collaborative approach includes articling students

Although some law students’ desire to article on Bay Street may make them oblivious to the opportunities that exist with boutique firms, Toronto estates and trusts lawyer Suzana Popovic-Montag tells Lawyers Weekly that she is frank when explaining that Hull & Hull LLP isn’t a large firm and has no aspirations to become one. Read more

Prince passing followed by estate battle

By Charles Ticker . On April 21, 2016 the world lost another superstar talent. Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016), known to the world simply as “Prince” was found dead in his Paisley Park home in Minnesota. He was 57 years old. The circumstances of his death are still under investigation. His premature death has caused grief to millions of fans around the world. Read more

Court finds racist trust can’t be administered cy-pres

A recent estates case involving racist scholarships is interesting because the court could not direct the trust to be administered cy-pres, says Toronto wills and estates lawyer Patrick J. Aulis . Read more

Prince intestacy underscores importance of estate planning

Reports that legendary popstar Prince appears not to have written a will complicates the division of his substantial assets, and highlights how crucial estate planning is for all Canadians, Toronto estates and trusts lawyer Suzana Popovic-Montag tells CTV News Channel. Read more

Estate law reform needed to protect elderly

It's easier to get a marriage license than a driver’s license in Ontario which leaves elderly people particularly vulnerable to predators chasing their estates, says Toronto-area estate litigator Charles Ticker. Read more

Session to explore recent estates law developments

Toronto estates and trusts lawyers Ian Hull and Suzana Popovic-Montag will share their insights into recent developments in estates legislation and case law at the upcoming Institute of Law Clerks of Ontario annual conference. Read more

‘Archaic’ estate legislation needs updating

An investigative report highlighting horror stories around estate battles underlines the need for updating Ontario’s “archaic” estate laws, says Toronto trusts and estates litigator Ian Hull. Read more

Voluntary disclosure and estate trustees

By Suzana Popovic-Montag . With a list that includes a dozen current and former world leaders, over a hundred politicians and public officials, as well as many celebrities and professional athletes, the recently leaked Panama Papers have caused quite a stir as they threaten to reveal how many people use banks, law firms, and offshore shell companies to hide assets and evade regulatory oversight or tax obligations. Read more

Hull, Popovic-Montag to co-chair Halton estates seminar

On May 6, Toronto estates and trusts lawyers Ian Hull and Suzana Popovic-Montag will co-chair the Halton County Law Association Estates & Family Law Seminar in Oakville. Read more

Ontario to support Alzheimer Society ‘Finding Your Way’ program

By Ian Hull. On March 10, 2016, the Seniors’ Secretariat posted a news release advising that Ontario will be investing $761,500 in the Alzheimer Society of Ontario’s Finding Your Way Program. Read more

Robin Williams widow reveals the difficulties she experienced

By Charles Ticker . I have covered the Robin Williams estate dispute in several different blog posts. As the dispute started, it appeared that it was going to become a prolonged and bitter battle. Allegations were made by Susan Williams that items were removed from the family home, including jewellery, watches, and other memorabilia. Allegedly, there were 1,200 items to be sorted out. The estate has been estimated at $50 million. The parties had the financial resources to litigate and become entrenched. Fortunately for all those involved, approximately a year after the initial filings the matter was settled out of court, with the terms of the settlement remaining confidential. Read more

Polygamous marriages and the SLRA

By Suzana Popovic-Montag . In Canada, polygamy is an indictable offence under the Criminal Code of Canada . Under s. 293(1): Read more

Popovic-Montag to share expertise at Cambridge Forums event

Toronto estates and trusts lawyer Suzana Popovic-Montag will lead a discussion on issues such as policy attacks on wills at the Estate Planning & Litigation Forum in Cambridge, Ont. from April 24 – 26. Read more