Partner Holly LeValliant Speaks on in terrorem Clauses at LSO Estate Law Event

Our partner Holly LeValliant gave a talk on in terrorem clauses at the Six Minute Estate Lawyer event held by the Law Society on April 29th. In plain English, in terrorem clauses are stipulations in Wills that make bequests conditional upon the recipient not taking certain actions. They are most often used to prevent beneficiaries from challenging … Continued

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Beware of the Font Fraudster!

Beware of the Font Fraudster! He/she is lurking around every corner, or, more fittingly, around ever matter. In McGoey (RE), a commercial litigation matter, a bankrupt telecom executive attempted to shield two properties from creditors by asserting that they were held in trust for his children. There were even trust documents purporting same! The documents … Continued

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Will Drafting Errors & Rectification

How do the Courts handle drafting errors in wills? While the general rules is that an individual’s last will and testament may not be overwritten or altered so as to distribute their estate in any manner other than as the testator described in their will, the equitable power of rectification may be employed by a … Continued

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Excellence in Trusts and Estates Law: Otis v. Otis

In May of this year, several members of our firm had the pleasure of attending the Ontario Bar Association Trusts and Estates Law Section’s year-end dinner, at which the Award of Excellence in Trusts and Estates Law was presented to the Honourable Maurice Cullity, Q.C.  I can think of no more worthy candidate for the … Continued

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Heads Up! You’ve got a Deal: Prince v. Nytschyk Estate

In Estates litigation, it is not uncommon for parties to be close to settlement, but are stymied by haggling over the exact terms of the minutes of settlement (or contract) and the delays by the exchange of drafts back and forth, between the parties’ respective lawyers. This begs the question: at what point is the … Continued

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Due Execution: Form Before Substance

In Ontario, the formal requirements for making a will must be strictly observed.  Whereas other provinces have legislation that allows a Court to cure deficiencies in the formal execution of a will, Ontario’s Succession Law Reform Act (the “SLRA”) does not have any such provision.  This can sometimes lead to disheartening results when a person … Continued

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When is a Will a Mutual Will?

Many couples, as part of their estate planning, contemplate executing mutual wills. For wills to be considered “mutual”, the provisions contained in the wills must be identical to each other, such that each party receives an identical interest from the other or that the remainder of the estate is disposed of in an identical manner[i]. … Continued

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