Brampton Lawyers

Our Brampton Lawyers are available to help you with your legal issue today! Call 1 844-618-8080 (toll free) or text 778-676-3808 to book your free 30 minute consultation with our Brampton Lawyers.

We practice in family law, injury law, business law, and real estate law.

We can come out to meet you anywhere in Brampton.

Our Burlington family lawyers can also meet you at any of the following six additional offices:

  • Vaughan
  • Collingwood
  • Downtown Toronto
  • Newmarket
  • Burlington
  • Thornhill

Meet our Brampton immigration and personal injury lawyer, Ross Mirian.

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Brampton Lawyers – Estate Disputes

Executors do not have free reign in the administration of the estate and this should provide some comfort to beneficiaries.  That said, if a beneficiary is concerned that an executor is not meeting his or her duties and obligations, then the following remedies are available to the disgruntled beneficiary.

Right to Accountability

In terms of an executor’s duties to account to the beneficiaries, residuary beneficiaries (beneficiaries who receive a share of the estate after specific gifts, expenses and debts have been paid) are entitled to see all the accounts and records of the administration of the estate.  Therefore a disgruntled beneficiary can take some comfort in the fact that they have a right to this transparency.

Mechanisms Available to the Disgruntled Beneficiary

Passing of Accounts

A beneficiary also has the power to force a passing of accounts, which means that the executor must prepare an accounting using a specific format.  While an executor is legally required to pass his or her accounts within 2 years of the grant of probate, a beneficiary can compel the executor to pass his or her accounts annually.

If the executor refuses to pass his or her accounts, or the beneficiaries are unhappy with the accounting provided by the executor, they can apply to the court for a formal passing of accounts, which involves a court hearing.  Although a powerful tool available to beneficiaries, it is often an expensive and time-consuming process.

Objecting to Executor’s Remuneration

Another mechanism available to the unhappy beneficiary is to object to the executor’s claim for remuneration.  While an executor is usually entitled to be remunerated for his or her work, often conflict arises as to how much the executor is entitled to.

Unless the will specifically states what the executor’s remuneration is, then remuneration is based on provisions set out in BC’s Trustee Act. The Trustee Act places a limit on the amount of remuneration which can be received by the executor, however case law in this area has generally established that the upper end of what an executor can claim should be reserved for large and/or complex estates, or ones that required a great deal of time and skill in their administration.

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Applying to Remove the Executor

If, despite these mechanisms, the beneficiaries are still unhappy with the executor and issues between them have not been resolved, then the beneficiaries may want to consider removing the executor altogether.

This step should generally be kept as a last resort, or reserved for serious cases of misconduct or mismanagement because it is an expensive, time consuming, process.

There is also, as is always the case with any court action, some risk involved for the beneficiaries in that if their claim for removal of the executor is weak, the executor could receive special costs from the estate.

As the above discussion should make clear, disgruntled beneficiaries are not powerless to executors. However these issues are complex and people are encouraged to seek legal advice.

** Disclaimer – This blog does not provide legal advice and should not be taken as such.  For proper legal advice on the above issue you should contact a lawyer.

Call 1 844-618-8080 (toll free) or text 778-676-3808 to book your free 30 minute consultation with our Brampton Lawyers.

Brampton Lawyers- Spousal Support

Spousal Support is a payment that one spouse makes to another spouse to help with their living expenses or to compensate them for economic choices that were made during a relationship.

Before calculating the amount of support payable, it needs to be determined whether a spouse is entitled to receive support at all.  There is no automatic right to receive spousal support just for living with someone and being in a relationship – unlike Child Support, where there is an automatic obligation to pay.

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Whether someone is entitled to receive spousal support and how much support will be paid depends on the particulars of those spouses’ relationship.

Spousal support is only available for all spouses and former spouses under the Family Law Act, which defines “Spouses” as people who are married or have lived together in a “marriage-like relationship” for more than two years or for less than two years but who have a child together.

Courts take many factors into consideration when determining if a spouse is entitled to spousal support, including the length of the relationship, difference in incomes, economic opportunities a spouse has lost as a result of the relationship and the relative earning capacities of both spouses.

Call 1 844-618-8080 (toll free) or text 778-676-3808 to book your free 30 minute consultation with our Brampton Lawyers.

Once entitlement is established, the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines, a Department of Justice paper, will generally be used to calculate the amount of support that must be paid.

The Guidelines are not actually considered law, but a judge must consider them when making a decision on spousal support – failure to do so and even awarding an amount that falls substantially outside the Guidelines can be an appealable error.

The Guidelines use two formulas to determine how much spousal support must be paid, one when child support is also being paid and one when child support is not also being paid.

The “Without Child Support” formula is fairly simple.  The amount of support paid is equal to 1.5 to 2 percent of the difference between the spouses’ gross incomes for each year of marriage.

This amount must be paid to the recipient for 0.5 to 1 year for each year of the relationship. If the relationship was longer than 20 years, or if the age of the recipient plus the number of years of the relationship equals 65, support will be paid indefinitely.

So if, for example, the relationship was 10 years long and the difference between the two spouses’ gross incomes is $10,000, then the payor should pay the recipient $1500 to $2000 per year or $125 to $166.66 per month.  Support should be paid for 5-10 years or, if the recipient is 55 or older at the time of separation, then support should be paid indefinitely.

The “With Child Support” formula is much more complicated and requires an understanding of various government benefits, tax deductions and tax credits.  Tune in next time as we deal with more exciting calculations in part 2 of this series on spousal support payments!

Call 1 844-618-8080 (toll free) or text 778-676-3808 to book your free 30 minute consultation with our Brampton Lawyers.

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