The treatment of family members under Ontario Estates Law by contrast to most civil law systems

Ontario law grants extensive freedom in making a Will. There are some restrictions in order to protect a spouse, or a financial dependent, or for matters of public policy. Ontario courts regularly receive pleading letters seeking information about an expected minimum share of the estate of a family member who immigrated to Ontario from a civil

The most common question from civil law jurisdictions: avoiding responsibility for debts

In a civil law succession, the beneficiaries become the legal owners of the assets at the moment of death. In addition, they may also be responsible, in some circumstances, for all the liabilities. The details may vary between specific civil law jurisdictions. In some, a formal inventory of the assets and liabilities of the succession

The role of an Ontario Estate Trustee compared to a liquidator of a succession in civil law

In the common law, this role has traditionally been called the ‘administrator’ or ‘executor’ of the estate, but for the past 20 years in Ontario we have used the term ‘Estate Trustee’. The Estate Trustee in Ontario generally has a broader role, with greater powers of sale etc., than that of a ‘liquidator of a

Ontario Estates for Civil Law Residents

Over the next few weeks, I will post on a number of topics intended to help someone living in a civil law jurisdiction with a possible interest in the estate of a deceased person who left assets in the Province of Ontario, Canada. The focus here is on average estates – low to mid-size value.


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