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Estates Litigation

Kelly + Singh Lawyers LLP > Estates Litigation

Estates Litigation

In Ontario our elderly population is growing and this segment of the population has unique legal needs.

 

At Kelly + Singh LLP we can offer representation and guidance in any estate and trust disputes and litigation, including challenges to a will or codicil, dependant support, power of attorney disputes and passing of accounts. Whether you are a beneficiary, trustee, executor, or an affected individual we can provide the advice you need to make informed decisions in any estate or trust dispute.

Estates Litigation

At Kelly + Singh LLP we can offer representation and guidance in any estate and trust disputes and litigation.

Understanding the complex laws and unique problems in disputes related to wills, estates and trusts is important when dealing with contentious estate matters.

 

These types of claims have been increasing in recent years and the passing of a loved one can result in complicated issues. Let us provide the knowledge and strategy to advise you on the merits of any potential claim you may have and how best to proceed.

 

Our approach in estate matters is solution-driven. While we work to rigorously protect our client’s interests, we will make every effort to engage in meaningful discussions toward a reasonable resolution as early as possible.

 

We will thoroughly explore the circumstances surrounding your situation and ensure you have advice and representation that is sensitive to the emotional well-being of all parties involved during this often difficult time, while protecting your interests.

 

  • Advise on any contentious estate matters
  • Will interpretation disputes
  • Challenge to will, executor or power of attorney
  • Breach of Fiduciary Duty
  • Passing of Accounts
  • Dependant support claims
  • Contested guardianship
  • Capacity issues
  • Estates dispute resolution
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Testimonials:

They have always been there to help and accompany with my legal matters, they are very dependable.

Client E.Q.

2016-08-18T08:53:43+00:00

Client E.Q.

They have always been there to help and accompany with my legal matters, they are very dependable.

Kelly + Singh made the things I had to be involved in easier, they always returned my calls, and everyone is friendly and courteous.

Client S.M.

2016-08-18T12:06:21+00:00

Client S.M.

Kelly + Singh made the things I had to be involved in easier, they always returned my calls, and everyone is friendly and courteous.

Kelly + Singh made the path straight and forward, they knew the game and how to play it well, they made a potentially confusing situation easy to understand, I never had to question what was going on in the case.

Client F.C.

2016-08-18T12:17:56+00:00

Client F.C.

Kelly + Singh made the path straight and forward, they knew the game and how to play it well, they made a potentially confusing situation easy to understand, I never had to question what was going on in the case.

I remember Mr. Kelly telling me that you can’t stop living, you have to keep going, That was what I really needed to hear.

Client L.M.

2016-08-18T12:19:13+00:00

Client L.M.

I remember Mr. Kelly telling me that you can’t stop living, you have to keep going, That was what I really needed to hear.

Kelly + Singh did a great job, they got things moving along and I’ve never seen such good customer service, it was a delight to have someone to call that handled things so well, the staff was very attentive and pleasant.

Client J.B.

2016-08-18T12:21:14+00:00

Client J.B.

Kelly + Singh did a great job, they got things moving along and I’ve never seen such good customer service, it was a delight to have someone to call that handled things so well, the staff was very attentive and pleasant.

Their work has allowed me to focus on myself and not worry about the legal process, they were patient with me, answered my questions, I’ve recommended them to several people and would recommend again

Client S.M.

2016-08-18T12:22:44+00:00

Client S.M.

Their work has allowed me to focus on myself and not worry about the legal process, they were patient with me, answered my questions, I’ve recommended them to several people and would recommend again

Things in the legal system take a really long time so it’s easy to get frustrated and want to give up, but if you have the right people behind you then you know something good will come with time and patience. Mr. Kelly and Ms. Singh are those people.

Client I.B.

2016-08-18T12:23:57+00:00

Client I.B.

Things in the legal system take a really long time so it’s easy to get frustrated and want to give up, but if you have the right people behind you then you know something good will come with time and patience. Mr. Kelly and Ms. Singh are those people.

Mr. Kelly gives me the right guidance when there is a dilemma, things feel simple and I feel like I’ve been counselled well.

Client E.Q.

2016-08-18T12:25:15+00:00

Client E.Q.

Mr. Kelly gives me the right guidance when there is a dilemma, things feel simple and I feel like I’ve been counselled well.

There was no beating around the bush, every time we met, they went right to it, and they followed through on everything they said they would do.

Client F.C.

2016-08-18T12:27:37+00:00

Client F.C.

There was no beating around the bush, every time we met, they went right to it, and they followed through on everything they said they would do.

I’ve been impressed with how Mr. Kelly has handled all of my cases. I feel like everything that could have been done was done and done right.

Client L.M.

2016-08-18T12:28:50+00:00

Client L.M.

I’ve been impressed with how Mr. Kelly has handled all of my cases. I feel like everything that could have been done was done and done right.

I feel like Mr. Kelly and Ms. Singh are always accessible and that they are willing to answer all of my questions. They put us so at ease, the moment we shook hands, we felt so comfortable.

Client I.B.

2016-08-18T12:31:38+00:00

Client I.B.

I feel like Mr. Kelly and Ms. Singh are always accessible and that they are willing to answer all of my questions. They put us so at ease, the moment we shook hands, we felt so comfortable.

Kelly + Singh helped me negotiate two settlements that I was very happy with, they handled all the paperwork so I could get back to living my life.

Client E.Q.

2016-08-18T12:33:06+00:00

Client E.Q.

Kelly + Singh helped me negotiate two settlements that I was very happy with, they handled all the paperwork so I could get back to living my life.

They’ve helped me learn and understand how the legal system works, if something else happens to me, I’ll know how to move forward.

Client L.M.

2016-08-18T12:34:57+00:00

Client L.M.

They’ve helped me learn and understand how the legal system works, if something else happens to me, I’ll know how to move forward.

They don’t belittle me, they talk to me like a normal person and didn’t speak in a language that went over my head, they made things easy to understand.

Client F.C.

2016-08-18T12:36:11+00:00

Client F.C.

They don’t belittle me, they talk to me like a normal person and didn’t speak in a language that went over my head, they made things easy to understand.

Michael Kelly, as my lawyer was a complete professional in all aspects of my claim. He informed me on the process and always interacted with me in a timely manner. Mr. Kelly's knowledge, confidence and presentations were paramount; I highly recommend Mr. Kelly; a lawyer you can count on.

Client W.C.

2017-05-17T01:16:12+00:00

Client W.C.

Michael Kelly, as my lawyer was a complete professional in all aspects of my claim. He informed me on the process and always interacted with me in a timely manner. Mr. Kelly's knowledge, confidence and presentations were paramount; I highly recommend Mr. Kelly; a lawyer you can count on.

I enjoyed the fact that my case mattered. I felt that my case was always being diligently worked on in a professional manner and until I received fair compensation. Mr. Kelly had a comprehensive plan for every aspect.

Client J.G.

2016-08-18T12:37:28+00:00

Client J.G.

I enjoyed the fact that my case mattered. I felt that my case was always being diligently worked on in a professional manner and until I received fair compensation. Mr. Kelly had a comprehensive plan for every aspect.

Kelly + Singh Lawyers LLP represented me relating to a workplace injury. My lawyer Mr. Kelly proved his worth going up against both WSIAT and an insurance company. Mr. Kelly, through his knowledge and experience, proved to me in a disputed workplace injury, you need to hire a lawyer and it is paramount to have the right lawyer to represent you. I highly recommend Mr. Kelly, a lawyer you can trust that will exercise every option for a successful outcome.

Client W.C.

2017-05-17T01:17:31+00:00

Client W.C.

Kelly + Singh Lawyers LLP represented me relating to a workplace injury. My lawyer Mr. Kelly proved his worth going up against both WSIAT and an insurance company. Mr. Kelly, through his knowledge and experience, proved to me in a disputed workplace injury, you need to hire a lawyer and it is paramount to have the right lawyer to represent you. I highly recommend Mr. Kelly, a lawyer you can trust that will exercise every option for a successful outcome.

Let us help you find solutions to your estate dispute. Call us for a free consultation.

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FAQ - Estates Litigation

I've been left out of my loved one's will. What can I do?

Although being left out of a will can be emotionally difficult during a time of grieving, as long as the loved one who has passed, had the mental capacity to make a will at the time it was made, they are entitled to bequeath their property to whoever they choose.

 

There is no legal requirement that a person treat their surviving spouse or children fairly.  Challenges to a will would normally require a court action, and success would depend on proving that the person did not have mental capacity to understand the nature of their assets and who they were leaving the property to at the time of the making of the will.

 

This can be difficult to prove unless there are medical records at that time that support mental incapacity at the time the will was made. If someone left out of the will is a dependent as defined under the Succession Law Reform Act, they may be able to apply for compensation from the estate (e.g. a spouse or dependent child).

 

If there is a situation where you contributed to a mortgage or any other asset, there are circumstances where some interest in a property might be established on the basis of a “constructive trust” if you contributed to the mortgage, or costs of running the household, or performed substantial care or other services on a regular basis such that it would be equitable to grant an interest in the asset, or compensation.  This involves a concept of “unjust enrichment”.  A court action would likely be required to establish a right to an interest in the property or compensation for the value of services provided.

I was owed a lot of money by a friend or relative who has now passed away. What can I do?

If you were owed money, you may have a potential claim against whatever assets are in the estate of the person who has now passed away.  It is important that you notify the Estate Trustee as soon as possible about your claim, and provide proof of the debt.  The Estate Trustee (previously known as the Executor) is responsible to make sure that the debts of the deceased are paid out of the estate assets, but they also owe a fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries and will have to scrutinize any debt claim very carefully.

 

If your friend or relative had very little in the way of assets in their estate, you may be out of luck.  Neither the estate trustee or any surviving relatives are responsible to personally pay the deceased persons debts.

My late spouse had a lot of creditors. Can they force me to sell my house to pay the debts?

The answer to this question depends on how title to the house is held. Most spouses will take title to their home as “joint tenants”.  This is a legal term that means when one of the owners dies, the property passes directly to the survivor.  Assuming that this is your case, the house does not form part of your late spouse’s estate, as the house belongs solely to you by operation of law.  The creditors would have no claim against the house.

 

If on the other hand, title is held as “tenants in common” then half of the value of the property passes to the estate of the late spouse, and creditors could conceivably make a claim against the estate’s portion of ownership in the house.

As a beneficiary what can I do if the Estate Trustee is not providing information or I suspect they are mismanaging the estate assets?

The estate trustee has numerous duties, and owes a duty of good faith to the beneficiaries of the estate.  There can be many reasons why it is taking a long time to administer the estate but if there are suspicions that the matters are not being handled properly or estate assets are being depleted unnecessarily, beneficiaries can make an application to require the Trustee to “pass the accounts” or even possibly move to disqualify the person acting as Estate Trustee if they are in breach of their responsibilities, and appoint someone else to take over.

 

Historically, participants might have commenced legal proceedings on the belief that all legal costs would be payable out of the estate.  However, recent appellate court rulings have indicated the normal rule now is the usual civil court rule – that the loser pay the winners costs personally.  The estate trustee may be able to recover their legal costs out of estate assets if they have acted reasonably.  However if they act unreasonably or in their own self interest, they may be personally liable for costs if they lose the proceeding.

Why do I need a lawyer?

The legislation and cases governing estate issues are complex. Whether you are a beneficiary, estate trustee or any other person with an interest in the estate, there is benefit from having skilled legal advice to navigate the complex rules of procedure and the laws which affect your rights in an estates proceeding. Talk to us and we’ll see how we can help you put knowledge and strategy on your side.

Why should I choose your firm?

We understand that losing a loved one is a difficult time and that these types of matters require particular sensitivity and care, not just for you but also any other family members affected. The team at Kelly + Singh has extensive experience and knowledge in litigation and court proceedings. We are dedicated to finding the best and most cost effective resolution to your situation.

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