Estates LitigationInsolvency and Restructuring
Lord Denning once said that estoppel is a house with many rooms. In December 2017, in Cowper-Smith v Morgan, 2017 SCC 61, the Supreme Court of Canada undertook some significant renovations to an important, but little used, room in that house: proprietary estoppel. And just like your neighbour’s renovations to build their monster home can have a real impact on your property, this is a decision that has impacts well beyond the particular facts of that case.
Court to estate litigants: Jurisdiction over real estate does not assure jurisdiction over all aspects of a case
Questions of jurisdiction and conflict of laws are complicated at the best of times, let alone in the context of estate litigation.
An Ontario decision has expanded the application of public policy to void a will, and in so doing has raised concerns of floodgates and abuse. In Spence v. BMO Trust Company, 2015 ONSC 615, Justice Gilmore determined that the deceased, who was black, disinherited his adult daughter because she had a child with a Caucasian man – "a clearly stated racist principle".