4 Jun 2015
New Estate Administration Act for Alberta

The Estate Administration Act came into force on June 1, 2015 to assist personal representatives to better understand and perform the administration of the estate of a deceased person.

3 Feb 2015
Ontario decision sets aside a will for having racist intent

In the recent Ontario Superior Court decision of Spence v. BMO Trust Company a will was set aside as being void on the grounds that it violated public policy. The will contained no racist language, however, the extrinsic evidence at trial established that the testator’s intent in drafting his will was based on a racist principle. Accordingly the will was set aside and the estate fell into intestacy.

31 Oct 2014
Lubberts Estate (Re) 2014 Alberta Court of Appeal decision

The 2014 Alberta Court of Appeal decision of Lubberts Estate (Re) dealt with the rules of admissibility of evidence; the interpretation of wills, the distinction between a trust and a power of appointment and the awarding of court costs.

24 Jan 2014
House held in joint tenancy with deceased bankrupt spouse does not vest in the Trustee in Bankruptcy

This 2011 Ontario decision deals with the unsuccessful claim of a trustee in bankruptcy to the interest of the surviving spouse of a deceased bankrupt in their home that was owned as joint tenants upon his death.

23 Dec 2013
Launching of our new website

We are proud to announce the launching of our new website today. Special thanks to our website designer, Russell McWhae.

23 Dec 2013
Allowing Extrinsic Evidence in Interpreting a Will

The 2013 Alberta decision of Ryrie v. Ryrie dealt with the admission of extrinsic evidence under the Wills and Succession Act in interpreting a will.

29 Feb 2012
The Wills and Succession Act has been proclaimed in Alberta on February 1, 2012

The Wills and Succession Act of Alberta incorporates substantial changes to the areas of wills and estates in the Province of Alberta. Included but not limited to these extensive changes are:

  • the effect of marriage on a will;
  • the effect of divorce or the termination of an adult interdependent relationship on a will;
  • new lapse provisions;
  • abolition of the presumption of advancement;
  • survivorship rules;
  • Family Maintenance and Support;
  • validation of wills and rectification of wills.

The proclamation of Section 117 of the Act, being a section which will make substantial amendments to the Matrimonial Property Act, has currently been delayed by the Alberta Legislature.

As these changes are extensive and affect all areas of estate planning it is strongly advised that you review your current estate plan and related documents with your lawyer and other applicable professional advisers immediately.

11 Oct 2011
Adult child, 51, successfully sues estate of deceased mother in Dependants Relief Act claim in Alberta

A 51 year old son of an Alberta woman who died leaving her entire estate to charity successfully sued her estate on the basis that he was a dependant under the Dependants Relief Act of Alberta. The claimant suffered from Hepatitis C which he acknowledged may have been contracted from unprotected sex or from doing drugs. He cited his health as the reason for not having worked since 2005 and was receiving social assistance. The court held that the deceased owed both a legal and moral obligation to her son during her lifetime and at her death and owed neither to her chosen beneficiary under the will.

3 Jun 2011
Sweeping Changes Coming to Alberta Wills and Succession Law

The Wills and Succession Act has been passed by the Legislature of Alberta and is scheduled to come into law in early 2012.

This new statute will consolidate several existing statutes including the Wills Act, Intestate Succession Act, Dependants Relief Act and the Survivorship Act. There are significant amendments that will be made to the Matrimonial Property Act and other applicable pieces of legislation. It is strongly suggested that you review your existing will and other documents related to your estate plan with your legal counsel in order to ensure that your current documents will continue to carry out your intentions in light of these upcoming changes.

4 Mar 2010
Ontario Court criticizes siblings over neglect of elderly parent during protracted litigation

A recent Ontario Superior Court decision highlights a growing trend in litigation over the ability of elderly parent’s to manage their own financial affairs.

26 Feb 2010
Attorney's Duties and Obligations under an Enduring Power of Attorney

The Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta in the 2010 decision of Taubner Estate (Re) dealt with numerous issues involving the duties and obligations of an attorney under an Enduring Power of Attorney.

3 Dec 2009
Toronto woman awarded $110,000 per month in spousal support

A recent Ontario Superior Court decision awarded a woman $110,000.00 per month in spousal support.

1 Dec 2009
Wallace damages still apply in wrongful dismissal cases

The Ontario Court of Appeal has stated in a recent decision that an award of “Wallace damages” in a wrongful dismissal trial may still apply in circumstances where an employers conduct in the dismissal of an employee warrant it.

9 Oct 2009
Son of New York Matriarch Convicted of Defrauding His Elderly Mother

Anthony G. Marshall, 85, was convicted in New York City of defrauding his elderly mother, Brooke Astor who was suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease.

6 Oct 2009
Ontario judges have new protocol to promote civility in the courtroom

The Law Society of Upper Canada has implemented a protocol whereby Ontario Judges may refer lawyers to undergo voluntary mentoring from senior members of the Ontario Bar in an effort to enforce civility in the courtroom.

1 Oct 2009
US Bankruptcy Court rejects Balsillie bid to buy the Phoenix Coyotes

The bids of both Jim Balsillie and the NHL to purchase the Phoenix NHL franchise were rejected recently by a bankruptcy court in Phoenix, Arizona.

25 Sep 2009
Polygamy Case Quashed by BC Supreme Court

The polygamy case against alleged British Columbia polygamists Winston Blackmore and James Oler has been quashed by the Supreme Court of British Columbia.

22 Sep 2009
Sexual Abuse of Elders

A recent article on the issue of elder sexual abuse from the Washington Post.

25 Aug 2009
British Columbia to ban cell phone use by drivers

The British Columbia government has promised to pass a law to ban the use of cell phones by drivers.

25 Aug 2009
Young men should have a will too

A recent article in the Calgary Herald brings to light the need for young men to have a will.

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