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Plain Language and the Danger of Legalese*

Legalese can actually defeat a will. That happened in Franks v. Sinclair.1 The will-maker was a mother and had two adult children, a son and a daughter. The son was a lawyer, and he was in tight financial straits. The will-maker had made a prior 1992 will that left her wealth not to her children […]

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Entry with Audio

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean commodo ligula eget dolor. Aenean massa. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Donec quam felis, ultricies nec, pellentesque eu, pretium quis, sem. Nulla consequat massa quis enim. Donec pede justo, fringilla vel, aliquet nec, vulputate eget, arcu. In enim justo, […]

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A small gallery

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean commodo ligula eget dolor. Aenean massa. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Donec quam felis, ultricies nec, pellentesque eu, pretium quis, sem. Nulla consequat massa quis enim. Donec pede justo, fringilla vel, aliquet nec, vulputate eget, arcu. In enim justo, […]

A nice entry

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean commodo ligula eget dolor. Aenean massa. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Donec quam felis, ultricies nec, pellentesque eu, pretium quis, sem. Nulla consequat massa quis enim. Donec pede justo, fringilla vel, aliquet nec, vulputate eget, arcu. In enim justo, […]

The Doctrine of Unconscionable Procurement*

An inter vivos gift can be attacked and set aside on a variety of grounds, some common and some rare. One of the rarer grounds is the “doctrine of unconscionable procurement.” The doctrine can be summarized as follows: A freestanding doctrine appears to have been in use in England and in Ontario in the 1800s, […]

Testamentary Capacity Required on Date Will is Executed*

A will is valid only if the maker has testamentary capacity. What if the will-maker displays that capacity at the beginning of the process with his or her lawyer, when instructions are given, but loses capacity by the end of the process, when the will is signed? This article provides a brief summary of the […]

Will Planning: Asking the “Bounty Question”*

Lawyers are expected to test clients for capacity when engaged to make a will. Typically, that involves asking questions that test powers of recollection. Those questions revolve around the extent of the client’s property (“what do you own?”) and family structure (“how many children do you have?”). Questions are also asked to determine testamentary wishes […]

Will Planning: The Use of “Tear-Away Wills”*

Capacity is task specific. A complex will requires a simply higher capacity level on the part of the maker than a simple will. That can be an important consideration where a will-maker is tottering on the edge of incapacity. Some specialist lawyers in this area have adopted a practice known as a “tear-away will” to […]

Capacity Required for Codicil*

The test for capacity for a will is taught at law school and is well-known to practicing lawyers. Do the rules change when it is not a will but a codicil that is under consideration? The following is a brief summary of the law on point: Codicils are interesting as they can serve a variety […]