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What We're Reading

For those of you working in estates, you’ll know that there are many things to be considered for each and every file. It’s more than just putting together a will or distributing a few assets.

At NoticeConnect, we like to keep on top of the latest estate news and issues so we don’t lose touch with what’s most important to our clients.

We recommend you read the articles listed below from some of the most influential estate blogs in the province:

1. Re Panda: Reconsidering Re Milne

“A will is a unique instrument. A will shares some of the attributes of a contract and some of the attributes of a trust but it is neither; a will is its own, unique creature of law.”

In this post, Sayuri Kagami from Hull & Hull LLP asks “is a will a form of trust?” In an examination of the recent, controversial decision in Re Milne, 2018 ONSC 4174, attention is drawn to the case of Re Panda, 2018 ONSC 6734. Both cases had similar issues, but had different outcomes.

2. Estate Considerations for YouTube and Twitch “Partners”

“...in the era of increased online spectatorship, there remains a certain type of digital asset that has had limited treatment in Canadian estate law: digital assets that continue to generate revenue after death.”

Much has been said about estate law and the ownership of digital assets after one’s death; everything from social media profiles to cryptocurrency has been looked at and discussed. But what happens to things like YouTube channels that are still making money through its views even after the owner has passed on?

This complex and interesting topic is tackled in depth on All About Estates by Fasken LLP’s Maureen Berry and Demetre Vasilounis. It’s definitely a must-read for those of you who are especially interested in the world of online assets.

3. A Moving Target: Capacity, Legal Representation, and the Ability to Instruct Section 3 Counsel

“Questions that immediately come to mind when considering this provision: if section 3 counsel is appointed to represent a person whose cognitive capacity is at issue, what level of capacity is required to instruct s. 3 counsel and who decides whether the subject individual has such capacity?”

Case studies are always interesting. In looking at Sylvester v. Britton, 2018 ONSC 6620, Daniel Paperny from WEL Partners breaks down the Substitute Decisions Act and how it played out in the case of a woman who claimed that her mother did not have the capacity to retain and instruct counsel because of her Alzheimer’s and dementia.

4. The Little Black Book of Probate

“This “Little Black Book of Probate” is designed as a general guide to help organize your thoughts and help answer some of the most common questions I receive after someone’s passing.”

This one might not be new, but it’s a great resource to have on hand. Written by Amy MacAlpine from Hummingbird Lawyers LLP, it’s a comprehensive guide to everything you need to know about probate.

Written in Q&A style, MacAlpine answers frequently asked questions, and she also provides helpful definitions for terms that people who don’t have a background in law may not be familiar with. There’s a checklist at the end to make sure you have everything you need going forward with the probate process.

If you have any recommendations feel free to send them my way at lexie.hinde@noticeconnect.com