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.
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.
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.
“Let him who desires peace prepare for war.” Who would have thought that this quote by Flavius Vegetius Renatus could be
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.
It has been said that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. This statement rings true in the context of estate planning. A disorganized estate plan is ripe for expensive litigation that will deplete the assets of the estate. A Last Will and Testament is usually the cornerstone of an estate plan but can be disputed by disappointed beneficiaries.
Will challenges can involve a great deal of time and expense, many times to the detriment of the estate. There are multiple grounds upon which a will challenge may be based; however, the two most commonly pleaded are lack of testamentary capacity and allegations that the testator was subject to undue influence.
As several of our previous entries address, the executor of an estate has many duties and obligations in the administration of a loved one's estate. Among these duties, is the obligation to locate all heirs who are entitled to share in the assets of the estate of the deceased.
Being named as the executor within an individual's last will and testament is sometimes perceived as an honour. However, it is important to understand that acting as the executor of an estate comes with significant responsibility.