Is an estate a legal entity for the purposes of launching a suit in the United States? Some recent cases shine light on the hazards of filing a suit against an estate which has not yet had an administrator or an executor appointed.
What constitutes a valid marriage has become a unique question for some estate litigators. Some recent cases show how the validity of a marriage can affect the estate of one of the “spouses”.
What happens when a divorce proceeding is interrupted by the death of a spouse? How is the estate divided or undivided? This question has plagued Canadian courts in a wide variety of circumstances.
The recent Texas Supreme Court opinion in Est. of Johnson clarifies the often-confused rules of estoppel.
This article discusses the criteria for will objections on the bases of a lack of testamentary capacity, due execution, and undue influence in New York jurisprudence. It also provides guidance on preparing wills to mitigate the risks of a will being challenged on these objections.
Two recent cases demonstrate a current trend: courts grappling with the contradictory positions of a testator’s will and their corporate holdings. Trezzi v Trezzi, 2019 ONCA and Simpson v. Zaste, 2022 BCCA 208 both forced courts to analyze the testator’s intention when their disposition went against the corporate structure.
What are the limits on testamentary freedom in Canada? Testamentary freedom is a fundamental right within the private law of succession, but it is not entirely unmitigated. In a recent case, the court considered expanding the section 7 liberty interest under the Canadian Charter to testamentary autonomy.
Unjust enrichment is a legal concept that refers to a situation where one party has received a benefit at the expense of another party without any legal justification or right to do so. In the context of estates, unjust enrichment can occur when one party improperly receives a benefit from an estate, such as by receiving property or funds they are not entitled to, such as the proceeds of a life insurance policy. Courts may intervene in these cases by imposing constructive trusts to remedy unjustly impoverished parties. The recent Supreme Court decision Moore v. Sweet provides an updated approach to this issue.
Part II of this series discussed the procedural elements of will applications and voidance under the Indian Act. Part III of this article series will analyze Indian Act wills through a pluralistic lens, looking at the interaction between provincial legislation and Indigenous legal traditions, including the requirement for wills to be devised in the interests of the Band pursuant to tribal custom.
The final article in this series discusses the most typical categories under which the Minister may void a will, including undue influence, testamentary capacity, and undue hardship. While these conditions may be used to deny probate in non-Indian Act succession proceedings, federal administrative decision-makers must develop their own means of determining whether an application to void a will meets the criteria given in section 46 of the Act.