Suzana Popovic-Montag is the Managing Partner of Hull & Hull LLP, who practices exclusively in the area of estates, trusts, capacity and fiduciary litigation. Suzana has an LL.B. from the University of Western Ontario and an Honours B.A. from Wilfrid Laurier University. She received mediation training at Harvard Law School and was called to the Bar in 1997. Suzana is a frequent blogger, podcaster and speaker at various OBA, Osgoode Hall and Law Society of Upper Canada programs. She is also a regular contributor to the OBA Trusts and Estates section publication, Deadbeat, and is the author of numerous academic articles on estates and trusts issues. Her articles are referred to in many of Canada’s leading estate texts. Suzana is continuously the recipient of many awards, including LawDay, Best Lawyers International, Lexpert and The Best Lawyers in Canada.
If family members are unhappy with your choice of attorney or the choices being made by your attorney, they may challenge the validity of the power of attorney document or make it difficult for your attorney to do their job.
Predatory marriages are unfortunately a growing phenomenon in Ontario. A predatory marriage occurs when a man or a woman enters into a relationship with an elderly individual exclusively for the purpose of gaining access to their estate.
Most families will experience some level of drama or conflict after the death of a family member. However, for some families, the death of a parent, sibling, or other close family member, can spark a dispute that results in expensive, protracted litigation and causes the breakdown of family relationships.
Alternate dispute resolution ("ADR") has been on the rise as one of the primary ways to bring a dispute to resolution. Rather than spending significant time and money to litigate a case, the recent trend sees the increased use of ADR processes, such as mediation or arbitration, in the negotiation of a settlement outside of the courtroom.
It is increasingly common for couples to choose to live together without first getting married. This decision may be seen as an intermediary step in the relationship before marriage. Some might view t...
The family cottage should invoke memories of warm weather, sunshine, and happiness. Unfortunately, for some, estate battles or family fights surrounding the cottage can tarnish these positive memories upon the death of the owner of the property.
It can be interesting to see how certain aspects of estate law can work in conjunction with other sectors, and a basic understanding of the related issues is often important when assisting clients in developing or implementing an estate plan.
Fiduciary can refer to a person acting in a position of trust or a particular kind of obligation. Both fiduciary relationships and fiduciary obligations are based in trust. When someone acts as a fiduciary, he or she has an obligation to act in utmost good faith for the benefit of the person or people with whose interests he or she is entrusted.
There are two Ontario statutes to be considered in the family law context of estate administration. The first statute is the Succession Law Reform Act, and specifically Part V thereof, which governs t...
As greater numbers of individuals become authorized to act as attorneys for property, it is important that both the grantors and the attorneys understand what is expected and what may be legally required of the fiduciary.
Disinheritance is defined in Black's Law Dictionary as "the act by which the owner of an estate deprives a person of the right to inherit the same, who would otherwise be his heir." As such, it can be extremely unsettling for a child to find out that they have been disinherited from their parent's estate.
Our population is now the oldest it ever has been, with more people currently aged 65 and older than there are children under the age of 15. As with any significant demographic shift, this trend has significant implications for society at large, impacting health care, finance policy, infrastructure, family relationships, and legal issues.
A primary consideration in the estate planning process should be the safe keeping of original planning documents (such as a will or a power of attorney). In Ontario, in order to obtain a grant of probate, the named estate trustee typically needs to provide the court with the original will, pursuant to the Estates Act.
It is not uncommon for people to have more than one spouse or common-law partner in the course of their lives. Dealing with the estate of a spouse or the division of assets after a breakdown of marriage illustrates how building a common life as a married couple creates legal entitlements and obligations.
The word probate, while still very frequently used by lawyers, may confuse people who do not have a legal background. Part of the confusion stems from the fact that the word probate is an old-fashioned term that can refer either to a legal process or to a particular kind of court order.
Amendments to the Income Tax Act have been made that incentivize planned charitable giving. Prior to 2016, gifts to registered charitable organizations made by will received tax credits that could only be used in the year of the testator's death or carried back to the preceding year.
Occasionally, criminal law and estate law intersect. That intersection was particularly shocking in the high-profile cases of Helmuth Buxbaum and Peter Demeter. Both were convicted of arranging the murder of their wives and both tried to collect on life insurance policies in their respective wife's name.
Online social media, if unaddressed by an estate plan, can be the cause of litigation. A person's social media may include writings, pictures or other mementos. These items may hold sentimental value to that person's family members and friends in a way that may not have been contemplated by the deceased.