Yearly Archives: 2015

Trustee Liability Under The Environmental Management Act (BC)

Land often forms a significant portion of the value of most estates in Canada, especially here in Vancouver. However, depending upon the nature of the land owned by the deceased, there may be unexpected liabilities associated with the administration of …

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Undue Influence and Independent Legal Advice: a recent case study

In two recent blog posts, we discussed the issues of using joint tenancies for estate planning. In Amanda Winters’ post she noted that joint tenancies are difficult to revoke if you change your mind. Emily Clough’s post discussed a case

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Considerations for the sale of a patient’s home by a Committee: Bronson v. Coates, 2015 BCSC 1207

When someone is declared mentally incapable under the law, a committee is appointed to make his or her personal or financial decisions. The committee is under a fiduciary duty to act in the patient’s best interests. Questions may arise: Should …

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Defining “Excluded Property” – recent developments regarding the effect of transferring property to a spouse

Jo Ann Carmichael Q.C. is the Group Leader of Alexander Holburn’s Family Practice Group. The Wills, Estates + Trusts Group works closely with Jo Ann and other lawyers in our Family Practice Group to advise our clients in complex estate

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Memorandum to a Will

A Memorandum to a Will is a separate document from the Will which may convey bequests, instructions or wishes to the Executor. A Memorandum to a Will may be either binding or non-binding.

A binding Memorandum may be incorporated by …

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Courts frown on Executors using Estate funds to defend their personal interests

When administering an estate, the Executor has a duty to remain a neutral representative of the estate. Administering an estate often involves financial expenses, including professional fees for lawyers and accountants. The law recognizes that reasonable professional fees for lawyers …

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Left Out in the Cold: Estate Freezes and Shareholder Oppression

Estate freezes are a common tool in the estate and tax planner’s toolkit. Their purpose, in essence, is to transfer corporately held wealth that has been accrued during one generation’s lifetime to another generation in a manner which is usually …

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Assisted Suicide: Carter, Bentley and the law of end-of-life decision-making

“It is a crime in Canada to assist another person in ending her own life.  As a result, people who are grievously and irremediably ill cannot seek a physician’s assistance in dying and may be condemned to a life of

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Trust Protectors

Over the past few years, Canadian courts have started taking note of the existence of trust protectors. Despite comments from a certain Saskatchewan judge in 2009 (“As indicated, the term “trust protector” is foreign to me…”[1]), recognition of trust protectors …

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