Tag: last wishes

21 Mar

Testamentary Wishes Must be Respected

Lisa-Renee Estate & Trust, General Interest, In the News, Wills Tags: , , , , , , , 0 Comments

In a recent case, Ilott v. The Blue Corss & Ors, [2017] UKSC 17 (15 March 2017), the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom has affirmed that a testator has testamentary freedom to disinherit his or her child.

As outlined in a recent National Post article, the Court rejected a daughter’s proceeding to set aside her late mother’s will, which left the majority of the mother’s estate to several animal charities.  In the will, the mother also directed the executors of her estate to resist any efforts her daughter may make to challenge the will.

The disappointed daughter exercised her rights pursuant to the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (the “1975 Act”), which allows certain individuals such as spouses and children to make a claim for reasonable financial provision from an estate.

Unlike Part V of Ontario’s Succession Law Reform Act, the 1975 Act does not require the deceased testator to have provided his or her dependant with support or to have been under a legal obligation to provide support immediately before his or her death.  Rather, the 1975 Act requires the surviving child to prove that the deceased’s will did not include reasonable financial provision for his or her child in light of the child’s own financial resources and needs.

Interestingly, the daughter appealed the District Judge’s award of £50,000.00 to her and the Court of Appeal’s decision awarding her £143,000.00 to buy the house she lived in and an additional £20,000.00.  On appeal, the Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeal’s decision and restored the District Judge’s decision on the basis that the District Judge’s decision struck an appropriate balance between the mother’s testamentary wishes and the daughter’s claim for reasonable financial provision from the estate. In doing so, the Supreme Court upheld the long standing principal that people remain at liberty to dispose of their assets and property subject to provisions of the 1975 Act.

Other Articles you May be Interested In:

Testamentary Freedom Reconsidered
Is Discrimination a Restriction on Testamentary Freedom?
Validity of In Terrorem Conditions

Thanks for reading!

Lisa Haseley

17 Feb

A Funeral for the Ages?

Hull & Hull LLP Estate Planning, Funerals, General Interest, In the News Tags: , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

Celebrities and Explosions.

Now that I have your attention, yes today’s estate blog is actually about celebrities and explosions.

Johnny Depp, the famed actor.

Now I really have your attention.

I recently came across this article in The Guardian, which highlighted the efforts made by Depp to plan Hunter S. Thompson’s funeral after his passing in February 2005.

Thompson, well known for authoring Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas had made requests prior to his passing to Depp, a close friend, as to how he wanted his ashes to be scattered.  Depp stuck to his word and took steps to ensure that Thompson’s last wishes came true and made sure that “his pal was sent out the way he wanted to go out”.

As such, Thompson’s ashes were fired from a cannon that was placed atop a 153-foot tower shaped like a double-thumbed fist, clutching a peyote button, on Thompson’s Colorado farm.  Yes, apparently Thompson loved explosions.

The total cost of the funeral was $3 million, which apparently, was funded entirely by Depp.

The surviving spouse, Anita, Thompson, supported Depp’s decision and even went on to state that the grounds where the cannon stood, remains a meditation labyrinth that is used every day at Thompson’s Colorado farm.

In Ontario, an estate trustee has the paramount legal authority to determine the place and manner of burial.  There is no legal requirement for the estate trustee to follow the wishes expressed by the deceased (or the family of the deceased).  Where a Will includes burial instructions, such instructions are precatory and not binding on the estate trustee.

Find this topic interesting?  Please consider these related Hull & Hull LLP Blogs:

Noah Weisberg

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