Advanced Legacies

It`s not uncommon for parents to loan their adult children money to, for example, buy a starter home, pursue post-secondary education or finance a wedding. Unfortunately, many disputes have started amongst family members after the death of a lender parent over whether an amount given to one child is a gift, loan or advance against…

Wrongful Death Claims

If a person’s death was caused by the negligence or an intentional act of another party, immediate family members can claim compensation. Those entitled to claim such benefits include the surviving spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters of the deceased. The terms “spouse” has a specific definition which must be fulfilled in order…

Conditional Inheritances

From time to time, testators (will makers) express their intention that proposed beneficiaries of their estate must fulfill a certain condition before receiving a gift under their will or trust document. Such conditional gifts are formally known as “condition precedents” and essentially are a provision in a will or trust that prevents the vesting of…

When Sharing A Wall Becomes A Nightmare

There are many qualities to consider when choosing a house for purchase, including design, location, price and community attributes like schools, parks and recreational facilities. Interestingly, a recent story published in the Toronto Star entitled “Vacant house a nightmare for neighbour” by Jessica McDiarmid also reminds us that curb appeal and one’s would-be neighbours should…

Estate Trustee Role Can Be Thankless

Many people, when asked by a loved one to act as an estate trustee, feel sentiments of honour often mixed with a sense of duty and obligation. However, performing the role can also be onerous, particularly if one wants to do a good job. Unfortunately, as Erna Schneider found out in Aber Estate, 2013 ONSC…

Squabbles Over Estate Trustee Compensation

The work of an estate trustee can be a time consuming and often exhausting role, with the possibility of a wide range of tasks. Unfortunately, there continues to be disputes in some estate administrations as to how much an estate trustee should be compensated for their work. Objections about compensation usually come from beneficiaries whose…