Variations of Trust

Toronto Estate Litigation Lawyers for Variation of Trusts

Estate trustees bear the significant responsibility of ensuring the wishes of a testator are carried out per the terms in their will or estate plan. A trustee must honour their fiduciary duties and always act in the best interest of the estate.  Thus, the trustee is prohibited from varying the terms of a trust, unless variation is expressly permitted in the trust document, or a claim is filed in court requesting a variation and the court approves a change. Otherwise, varying the terms of a trust without express authority is a breach of the trustee’s fiduciary duties.

If you are an estate trustee, a beneficiary, or another party seeking a variation of trust, the experienced and skilled estate lawyers at Eisen Law in Toronto can help.  We are known for our estate litigation practice, and have an excellent reputation for resolving complicated matters. Our knowledgeable team can provide you with the necessary guidance you need to understand your legal rights and obligations and ensure that your interests are protected throughout the trust variation process.

Reasons to Vary a Trust

There are several reasons why a trust may require variation, including:

  • The terms of the trust are no longer consistent with the needs of beneficiaries;
  • To settle equalization claims under the Family Law Act;
  • To settle dependant’s claims against the estate;
  • Changes to relevant legislation (for instance, the Income Tax Act).

Methods of Varying a Trust in Ontario

Generally speaking, courts will not interfere with a trust and substitute its own judgment for that of the trust settlor. However, there are four possible grounds on which a court will make a variation:

  • On consent;
  • Through the Variation of Trusts Act;
  • Via the court’s inherent jurisdiction;
  • Through the court’s jurisdiction over charities.

Contact the Estate Litigation Lawyers at Eisen Law for Assistance with Variations of Trusts

The estate litigation lawyers at Eisen Law in Toronto have extensive experience guiding clients through the trust variation process. We help them manage any personal risk and liability as well as any risk to the trust and beneficiaries. Call us at 416-591-9997 or contact us online to set up a consultation with one of our dedicated and skilled lawyers.