Brown Bag Lunch - October 18, 2022

  • December 22, 2022
  • Jennifer A.N. Corak and Jennifer Katz, Minden Gross LLP

On October 18, 2022, members met for the OBA Trusts and Estates Section’s monthly Brown Bag Lunch meeting and discussed a number of interesting topics.

The meeting started with a conversation around the Law Society’s recent decision to terminate the Certified Specialist Program (CSP) for practitioners in all areas of law except for the Indigenous Legal Issues specialization. Termination of the CSP has been suspended for the time being and submissions on this topic are open to the public until December 31, 2023, which will then be considered by Convocation. BBLers were invited to contact the section’s Public Affairs Liaisons with any comments.

BBLers next had an interesting discussion about holograph Wills, including the situation where the Court requests supplemental materials be submitted to support the validity of the holograph Will in question and the testator’s intentions contained therein.

Another topic discussed was how to deal with an estate where all or the majority of the assets pass outside of the estate (e.g., via beneficiary designations or joint tenancy) and there are insufficient assets in the estate to satisfy all debts and taxes owing. Some BBLers pointed out that although the tax burden associated with the deemed disposition of an RRSP under the Income Tax Act (Canada) will generally be borne by an estate’s residuary beneficiaries, if there are insufficient assets in the estate to satisfy the tax burden, the CRA has the right to look to the beneficiary of the RRSP.

BBLers also considered the difference between insolvent versus bankrupt estates, leading into a discussion of factors to consider before accepting an appointment as estate trustee when the estate in question is insolvent.

Next on the agenda was the topic of partial intestacies. BBLers discussed the obligations of an estate trustee to locate beneficiaries and methods that could be employed to do so. Different circumstances were considered, including when the estate in question is modest or the potential beneficiary is located in another jurisdiction (outside Ontario).

Finally, BBLers contemplated estate planning best practices for clients who own assets in multiple jurisdictions. Attendees considered the execution of multiple Wills (i.e., executing a Will in the other jurisdiction or to cover assets in another jurisdiction) as opposed to executing one Ontario Will and having to reseal it (or obtain an ancillary grant) in the other jurisdiction. The general consensus was that, as is often the case with estate planning, these situations are best dealt with on a client-by-client basis and there is no one size fits all approach.

For a list of upcoming Brown Bag Lunches, please visit Anyone who would like to attend and needs Zoom details should contact Rebecca Kennedy at

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