What are the Duties of an Estate Trustee?

May 1, 2018
Blog Post
Read Time: 4 minutes

Most people are happy to agree to be an estate trustee at some future date, but they may not have a true understanding of what it entails. And when someone dies and you are thrust into that role, it can be very overwhelming. You may be thinking: where do I even begin? Below is an outline of the basic duties of an estate trustee.

Dependant Relief and Defining Relationships

March 6, 2018
Blog Post
Read Time: 3 minutes

A recent Ontario Superior Court of Justice decision, Stajduhar v. Wolfe, hinged on the relationship between the deceased and the claimant: specifically, how long they had lived together, if at all.

Can I Make Handwritten Changes To My Will?

September 26, 2017
Blog Post
Read Time: 3 minutes

It makes sense that a Will you executed many years ago will need to be updated at some point. Maybe you will want to add a beneficiary, or choose a different estate trustee. Can you just strike out one name and write another one? Is handwriting in a Will even considered valid? A recent British Columbia decision is a reminder that Wills are complex and often contentious documents, and any changes need to be made very carefully.

Hickory Dickory Debt: The Importance of Proper Estate Planning

August 17, 2017
Blog Post
Read Time: 3 minutes

Retirement: the stage of life we all work towards, so we can fully embrace and enjoy the fruits of our labour. It is naturally borne in mind that life after work is a rather pleasant and enviable position. However, it is also a time when you should reassess your Estate Plan.

Advertising For Creditors: Can I Do This Online?

July 20, 2017
Blog Post
Read Time: 1 minute

On July 7, 2017, a judge with the Superior Court of Justice in Toronto confirmed that advertising for creditors on NoticeConnect satisfies the advertising requirement under section 53(1) of the Trustee Act.

Life Insurance And Dependant Support Claims

July 6, 2017
Blog Post
Read Time: 3 minutes

It is not uncommon for separating couples to specify that proceeds from life insurance policies are to be used as security for spousal and child support. But when one person starts another family, can the spouse from the new family “claw back” the life insurance proceeds? The Ontario Court of Appeal was tasked with answering this question in the recent decision Dagg v. Cameron Estate.

What Happens When An Estate Trustee Has Their Own Agenda?

June 19, 2017
Blog Post
Read Time: 3 minutes

An estate trustee is expected to manage the assets of an estate responsibly, prudently and with a degree of diligence. They should also not be swayed by their own interests, particularly when it comes to engaging in unnecessary litigation. But what happens when an estate trustee is driven by personal animosity or has their own agenda? This is what the Ontario Superior Court of Justice dealt with in Craven v Osidacz.

Can I Be Paid For Managing An Incapable Person’s Property?

May 25, 2017
Blog Post
Read Time: 2 minutes

The roles of an attorney or guardian of property carry a great deal of responsibility, not to mention the time and effort involved. So it makes sense in some circumstances that an individual should be paid. Section 40 of the Substitute Decisions Act authorizes an attorney or guardian of property to take compensation for the work they do in managing someone else’s property and finances.