About Articles The following articles are published by the Trusts and Estates Law Section of the Ontario Bar Association. Members are encouraged to submit articles. About Articles

Editor: Ian Andrew Amirthanathan and Jennifer Corak


Empowering Endings: Insights from OBA’S “Comprehensive End-of-Life Planning” Program

  • December 05, 2023
  • Yalda Mousavi, articling student, WeirFoulds LLP

On October 19, 2023, experts gathered on the OBA’s panel and provided meaningful insights on comprehensive end-of-life planning. Beyond wills, the panel emphasized the importance of key documents, such as powers of attorney and advance care directives, to ensure that end-of-life wishes are well understood, documented, and followed. The audience was also reminded of the significance of family involvement, transparent communication, and early initiation of uncomfortable discussions.

Elder Law, Student Forum, Trusts and Estates Law

Ontario Estates Bench-Bar Liaison Committee Meeting Minutes - June 12, 2023

  • October 24, 2023
  • Ontario Estates Bench-Bar Liaison Committee

The Ontario Estates Bench-Bar Liaison Committee met in June 2023 to discuss various matters, including filing of Motions for Directions, electronic filing of a Notice of Objection, decisions that applied s. 21.1 of the SLRA to validate Wills that were not properly executed and scheduling in the Toronto Estates Office.

Trusts and Estates Law

Beneficiary Designations: Pillar One of Potentially Perilous Estate Planning Strategies

  • October 16, 2023
  • Blair L. Botsford, O’Sullivan Estate Lawyers

Beneficiary designations can be a useful estate planning tool with the added benefit of helping to reduce exposure to Ontario’s estate administration tax; however, utilizing them is not without its pitfalls. In this article, Blair Botsford reviews key issues relating to beneficiary designations, including certain drafting challenges.

Student Forum, Trusts and Estates Law

Oops, I Blew the Formalities: A summary of cases to date on the Court’s validating powers under s. 21.1 of the SLRA

  • October 13, 2023
  • Krystyne Rusek and Matthew Bradley, Speigel Nichols Fox LLP

Section 21.1 of the Ontario Succession Law Reform Act (“SLRA”) provides a validating power to judges of the Superior Court to remedy situations where testamentary documents fail to meet formalities of execution. In this article, Krystyne Rusek and Matthew Bradley canvas some of the case law to date on the Court’s validating power under s. 21.1.

Student Forum, Trusts and Estates Law

OBA Has Made Submissions For Continuing and Expanding the Law Society of Ontario Certified Specialist Program

  • October 13, 2023
  • Demetre Vasilounis, Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP

In May 2022, further to recommendations by the Competence Task Force of the Law Society of Ontario, Convocation voted to wind up its Certified Specialist Program (“CSP”). Following feedback from the profession with respect to its decision, Convocation suspended the CSP windup and instead committed to a consultation with the profession on the issue. Demetre Vasilounis provides an update on the OBA’s submissions in this article.

Student Forum, Trusts and Estates Law

Joint Ownership as a Probate Planning Strategy - The Cautionary Tale of Jackson v Rosenberg

  • October 13, 2023
  • Jennifer Corak, WeirFoulds LLP

Jackson v Rosenberg, a recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, reminds us of the complications that can arise when adding an adult as joint tenant on property for probate planning purposes. In this article, Jennifer Corak reviews the Court’s considerations and conclusions.

Student Forum, Trusts and Estates Law

In Case You Missed It: Updates to Ontario Probate Application Forms

  • October 10, 2023
  • Lori Isaj and Sanaya Mistry, WeirFoulds LLP

The warm and long summer days brought with them changes to the Ontario court forms for applications for appointment of estate trustee under the Rules of Civil Procedure. In this article, Lori Isaj and Sanaya Mistry review changes to Forms 74A, 74.1A and 74J.

Student Forum, Trusts and Estates Law

Speech on Receiving Award of Excellence in Trusts & Estates Law

  • June 29, 2023
  • Howard S. Black, Miller Thomson LLP

On June 26, 2023, Howard Black was presented with the OBA Award of Excellence in Trusts and Estates for 2023. For anyone who may have missed this wonderful event, or for those who want to experience it again, Howard has kindly agreed to share a copy of his speech. Many congratulations to the very deserving Howard Black.

Student Forum, Trusts and Estates Law

The Year in Review from your Public Affairs Liaisons

  • June 29, 2023
  • Krystyne Rusek, Pallett Valo LLP and Angelique Moss, Casey & Moss LLP

Your Public Affairs Liaisons, Krystyne Rusek and Angelique Moss, have been hard at work bringing issues of legislative change and public affairs affecting the estates bar to the attention of our Executive and to our members. Further to the previous update provided in March, Krystyne and Angelique provide an additional update summarizing recent matters.

Student Forum, Trusts and Estates Law

Top Estates & Trusts Cases of 2023 So Far

  • June 26, 2023
  • Garrett Horrocks, Mills & Mills LLP

Although we are only halfway through 2023, there have been plenty of interesting trusts and estates decisions that have been released so far this year. In this article, Garrett Horrocks reviews several of the top cases from the first half of 2023.

Student Forum, Trusts and Estates Law