Compelling Unresponsive Estate Trustees to Act

Compelling Unresponsive Estate Trustees to Act

An order to accept or refuse appointment under Rule 74.15(1)(a) or (b) of the Rules of Civil Procedure is an under-utilized tool in estate litigation. It allows an interested party to compel the estate trustee, either named in a will or acting as an estate trustee, to seek a certificate of appointment.

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Apples to Apples vs the ” Silo Approach” – What are the differences?

Apples to Apples vs the ” Silo Approach” – What are the differences?

Cadieux v. Cloutier 2018 ONCA 903

The Court of Appeal released its decision in Cadieux v. Cloutier (“Cadieux”) in December 2018. This case concerns a motor vehicle accident where the plaintiff, Chad Cadieux, suffered brain injuries after he was pushed onto the road by one of the defendants, Eric Saywell and struck by the truck of a second defendant, Mr. Cloutier.

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Sealing off the court from the public eye – what is the risk v. benefit?

Sealing off the court from the public eye – what is the risk v. benefit?

The Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in Sherman Estate v. Donovan 2021 SCC 25 in June of 2021. This case concerns the unresolved homicide of Bernard and Honey Sherman, who were found dead in their Toronto home in December of 2017. The couple’s estate and estate trustees attempted to stem the intense press scrutiny prompted by the events. At issue was the probate of a million, if not the billion-dollar estate.

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Unintended Vacancy from Health Issues Can Lead to Insurance Coverage Exclusion

Unintended Vacancy from Health Issues Can Lead to Insurance Coverage Exclusion

Home insurance policies, unbeknownst to many policy holders, typically have coverage exclusions that apply if damage/loss occurs while the property is “vacant”. Typically, the issue arises when the homeowner intentionally leaves the home for a an extended period of time (ie. vacation, work trips, etc). However, what happens when unexpected events, such as health complications, cause us to be away from home for an extended period of time?

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Should they stay or should they go? A cautionary tale about witness exclusions.

Should they stay or should they go? A cautionary tale about witness exclusions.

It is a fundamental principle of common law that court proceedings are open to the public. There are, of course, factors and circumstances that necessitate a departure from this principle. For example, the exclusion of witnesses for a trial until they are called to give evidence is meant to avoid witnesses giving “tainted” evidence that is influenced by other testimony or court proceedings.

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Can an Employer Mandate that Employees get Vaccinated Admist the COVID-19 Pandemic?

The COVID-19 vaccine is being rolled out to frontline workers and the vulnerable population, and it looks like it may soon be available to the public at large. Obviously, that’s great news. It looks like we are on our way back to some degree of normalcy. But, because we are lawyers and lawyers can’t ever just be happy and look at the positives of a situation, we’ve had to start considering the significant potential legal implications and conflicts that could arise with the largescale rollout of the vaccine.

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Rogue Attorneys Must Account for Their Discretions

It is often the case that a loved one will become incapable of managing their finances and will require someone to step in and act on their behalf. This is where a continuing power of attorney for property can come into play. A continuing power of attorney for property is a document which grants authority to the chosen attorney to manage the assets of the person, referred to as the grantor. It is made while the person is mentally competent and remains effective through incompetency.

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Facebook, Instagram, TikTok – How private is your “private” page?

2020 may be the most defining year for the digital practice of law since the advent of the internet. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has seen the Canadian justice system transition to a great extent to a virtual platform. This only serves to highlight the forms of virtual media which can be used in litigation.

Lawyers know how important social media can be to a matter. What a plaintiff posts on social media, as well as what a defendant posts, can be crucial to a case.

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The New Trend in Motions for Default Judgment

We have all been there, you bring a claim against a party who thinks that if they just ignore the litigation it will go away. The Rules of Civil Procedure dictate that if a party against whom a claim has been properly brought does not serve and file a defence within 20 days, that party may be noted in default.

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Layoffs and COVID 19

If you’re an employee or an employer, then in between sessions of binge watching of Tiger King, you might be pondering how the COVID-19 pandemic will affect the employment relationship.
As an employer, you may have concerns about budgetary constraints, and the possible implications of having to lay off employees in a time of crisis.

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Road Access Dispute?

If you find a road that you commonly use to access your cottage blocked or you are considering blocking other motorists from using an access road which crosses your property, you should understand the effect of the Road Access Act.

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Prejudgment Interest Cut on General Damages in Motor Vehicle Accident Claims

When a plaintiff is successful in a lawsuit, they are generally entitled to prejudgment interest (PJI) on their damage award. Prejudgment interest is awarded on any damages incurred between the date the cause of action arose (or written notice of the action was given, if related to an MVA) to the date of the order for payment of money. The Ontario Court of Appeal has written that “[a]wards of pre-judgment interest are designed to recognize the impact of inflation and to provide relief to a successful litigant against the declining value of money between the date of entitlement to damages and the time when damages are awarded.” 1

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Joint Accounts: Are They Helpful in Estate Planning?

Since starting to build my estate related practice, one of the common questions I get asked is how to organize assets to avoid probate fees or estate tax. The question has often come from the adult children of a parent that are wondering if mom or dad are being smart in their estate planning, as it is often these same children and their siblings that are the beneficiaries of their parent’s estate.

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