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Category: Wills and Estates and POAs

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 Note:  This lower court decision putting multiple wills into doubt has been overturned.  Please see my blog post “Basket Clauses are Okay Again”.  What are “multiple wills”? Where a testator prepares more than one will for his estate.  The “Primary Will” covers assets that require […]

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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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“Begin With the End in Mind: The 6 Steps of The Estate Planning Process”

Daniel Collison provides a useful 6-step guide to thinking about estate planning in “Begin With the End in Mind: The 6 Steps of The Estate Planning Process”. His points: Establish and Secure Retirement Lifestyle Goals Determine and Minimize Estate Taxation Determine Estate Beneficiaries Formulate Distribution Strategies Protect Estate Value Formalize Estate Documentation The entire article […]

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