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Elder Law and Estates Archives

A co-owner can force a sale of a home

A common problem that we see today is when two or more people own a home and one of them refuses to sell. Whether it is in the context of an estate or family dispute, often the party who refuses to sell the property wants to buy out the other's interest. The proposition is usually less than fair market value and parties are ultimately unable to come to a resolution. This is when the owner who wants to sell asks a lawyer for assistance in making an application under the Partition Act, RSO 1990, c. P.4 for the partition (the physical division of the land) or a sale of the shared property.

Estate Trustee During Litigation

Have you heard of an Estate Trustee During Litigation ("ETDL")? In instances where the validity of a Will is being challenged, the estate trustee appointed under the terms of the Will has no authority to preserve or manage the estate. However, the estate will still have to be managed and administrated in some fashion until the court can determine if the Will is valid or not. Thus, there is a need to have a neutral person, unconnected with the litigation, to safeguard the assets of the estate and pay the debts. That person is called an Estate Trustee During Litigation.

Undue Influence Surrounding Wills

Virtually everyone postpones writing a will. Maybe because it is a tangible reminder of our mortality or perhaps it is difficult to decide to whom to give the property that we worked so hard to acquire during our lives. Whatever the reason may be, having a will in place ensures that your estate is distributed after death the way you intended it to be, unless you are the subject of another's undue influence. Then your will may reflect their wishes, and not yours. The elderly population is especially vulnerable to undue influence.

Challenging and Defending Gifts to Family Members

Some elderly individuals, before they die, may wish to transfer money, real property or other assets to their children, or other relatives, as gifts. However, these kinds of transfers come at a risk. There are often disputes among family members concerning gifts, particularly the argument that the transferor was not of sound mind.