Joint Account Holders Are Fiduciaries

Joint Account Holders Are Fiduciaries

MacKay v. MacKay Estate,2015 ONSC 7429, held that one joint account holder may serve as a fiduciary in relation to the other simply via the traditional indicia of such a relationship as set out in Frame v. Smith, [1987] 2 SCR 99 (i.e., the ability… Read more

Signing a Trustee Release

Signing a Trustee Release

Anyone practicing law in wills and estates, or who has inherited monies, will be familiar with being required to sign a Trustee Release before the funds are disbursed to the beneficiaries. In BC, it is simply the way business is conducted, and it saves a… Read more

Executor Cannot Use Estate Funds To Defend Personally

Executor Cannot Use Estate Funds To Defend Personally

In a Wills variation claim (now section 60, WESA) an executor cannot use estate funds to defend him or herself if a beneficiary, and may  use reasonable estate  funds to defend the claim but only in the capacity of executor and not beneficiary. In a… Read more

Executor Removed For Delay and Disdain

Executor Removed For Delay and Disdain

Re Dirnberger Estate 2016 BCSC 439 removed an executor who had failed to settle and distribute a simple estate for more than four years and showed disdain and hostility towards his sister the other  major beneficiary. The delay and behavior constituted an inability to act due… Read more

Passing Over: Removing An Executor

Passing Over: Removing An Executor

Special circumstances sometimes occur where it is appropriate for the Court to Pass Over the named executor in favour of another  which effectively removes the named executor In Re Thomasson Estate, 2011 BCSC 481 the court Passed over the named executor by reason of personal conflict… Read more

The Factors To Determine an Executor’s Compensation

In the well-known case of Re Toronto General Trusts and Central Ontario Railway (1905), 6 O.W.R. 350 (H.C.), five central factors should be considered by the audit judge in arriving at the amount of an executor’s compensation. The maximum fee for obtaining probate and distributing… Read more

Party Cannot Take Tax Benefit For One Purpose and Deny It For Another

In Rosenthal v Rosenthal, 1986 CarswellOnt 288 (HCJ), it was held that an individual cannot take a position to obtain a tax benefit and then deny that position to obtain a different benefit. At para 51 of Rosenthal, the court noted that “it is being… Read more

The Prudent Investment Standard For Trustees

The Prudent Investment Standard For Trustees

Miles v Vince 2014 BCCA 290 allowed an appeal and removed a  trustee for failure to abide by the Prudent Investor Standard expected of a trustee. The Trustee had used the funds from an insurance trust for a speculative real estate investment The Prudent Investor… Read more

executor repay

Executor Ordered to Repay Monies

  Executor Ordered to Repay Monies Back to Estate Paid Out Before Expiration of 6 Month Limitation Stevens v. Wood Estate (Re), 2013 BCSC 2380 Until six months have passed from the issuance of probate of a will, s. 12 of the Wills Variation Act,… Read more

Trustee Removed For Selling Assets Below Market Value and Benefiting

Trustee Removed For Selling Assets Below Market Value and Benefiting VanKoughnett & Others v. Austin, 2006 BCSC 1856 is authority for the proposition that a trustee removed under section 30 of the Trustee Act where there is potential conflict of interest between the personal interests of… Read more

The Executors Obligation To Maintain Estate Assets

Executors obligation cannot just idly stand by and allow estate assets to deteriorate or waste- the executor and trustee has a duty of care to mange and preserve the estate assets. The legal test is as follows: The traditional standard of care of an executor/trustee is… Read more

Fiduciary Relationships- Leading Case

  It is important on occasion to revisit some of the  British Privy Council case authority chestnuts that have developed as pillars of certain areas of the law. One such case would be the Privy Council case of Noriah v Omar 1929 AC 127  relating… Read more

Neighbour Found to Be a Fiduciary re Finacial Advise/Abuse

  Neighbour Found to Be a Fiduciary Janz v. McIntosh [1999] S.J. No. 121 is an excellent example of a court finding a breach of fiduciary duty where the alleged fiduciary was not a professional . In fact he was simply a neighbor. The Plaintiff… Read more

executor chain

Advising The Personal Representative

1. INTRODUCTION It is perhaps trite to state that the role of the drafting notary or solicitor is simply not to fill in the blanks and record the testator’s instructions, including his or her choice of executor, but instead to actively advise and draw to… Read more

Removing and Replacing Executors and Trustees

Removing and replacing an executor/ trustee is one of the most common enquiries that I receive. The matter is both intriguing and somewhat complex, largely due to historical developments concerning the legal differences between the role of an executor and a trustee. 2. VOLUNTARY REMOVAL… Read more