Category: Wills and Estates and POAs

Law Society official position on virtual Commissioning

[Everything below this line is a verbatim transcript from the LSO’s website as of 2020-04-08-1334h] During COVID-19, does the Law Society’s interpretation permitting virtual commissioning under the Commissioners for Taking Affidavits Act extend to functions under the Notaries Act? Notarizing is governed by the Notaries Act and is not regulated by the Law Society. Lawyers […]

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Remote/Virtual Witnessing of Wills and Powers of Attorney

The Ontario government has authorized the remote witnessing of wills. The key limitation is that one of your witnesses has to be either a lawyer or paralegal licensed by the Law Society of Ontario. The full text of the Order [English only] is below, and can be found [in original, bilingual version] here: Executive CouncilOrder […]

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“Who doesn’t love a thriller based around the hijinks of estate planning?”

“Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, estate planning was top of mind at Oscar time with the fantastic movie, Knives Out. … Who doesn’t love a thriller based around the hijinks of estate planning?” Darren Stewart of Singleton Urquhart takes a humourous tack to tell us things that we should consider even during the best of […]

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Standard Charge Terms online!

As of December 2018, all Standard Charge Terms registered after January 1, 2007 are now available for download – for free – from the OnLand portal.  Hat tip to the Middlesex Law Association for spreading the word!

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Basket Clauses are OK again: Milne Estate (Div.Ct.)

Good news.  As the reader will recall, the decision in Milne Estate threw the Estate bar of Ontario in confusion over the issue of whether “basket clause” multiple wills were invalid.  The Divisional Court (Milne Estate (re) [Div.Ct.]) has now restored the law as it was before the first decision: “basket” (or “allocation”) clause wills […]

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Provisional good news: a separate judge has rejected Milne Estate

In Panda Estate (Re), 2018 ONSC 6734 (CanLII) As the reader will recall, the Milne Estate decision said that a multiple will basket clause failed because — according to Dunphy J. in Milne Estate — a will is a form of trust and that, in order for a will to be valid, it must create […]

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“WILL CHECK” – A Will Registry and Search Service

One of the more difficult things for beneficiaries or potential beneficiaries of a deceased individual is to find out if a deceased had a Will, and where it is. This is even more difficult where the deceased has lived in multiple jurisdictions, or the lawyer who held the Will has died or retired, or where […]

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Two good articles on the Milne Estate decision

“What Is a Will and What is the Role of a Court of Probate?” Albert Oosterhoff, Whaley Estate Litigation Partners, September 26, 2018 “A Problem Crying out for an Early Resolution” Donald Carr, Aird Berlis, November 13, 2018

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Urgent news re “multiple wills”

URGENT NOTIFICATION re MULTIPLE WILLS AND THE MILNE ESTATE[1] DECISION  What are “multiple wills”? Where a testator prepares more than one will for his estate.  The “Primary Will” covers assets that require probate, and is submitted to the court to obtain Letters of Administration; estate fees are paid on those assets.  The Secondary Will contains […]

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What is a “constructive trust”?

Normally, when we think of a trust, we think of one specifically and deliberately set up: a trust fund for one’s children, for example.  This is an “express trust”. A “constructive trust“, however, is one which is a court declares exists or imposes onto parties despite the fact that there wasn’t a specific intention to […]

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