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Toronto Divorce Lawyers

Our Toronto Divorce 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 Toronto Divorce Lawyers.

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

We can come out to meet you anywhere in Toronto.

Our Toronto Divorce Lawyers can also meet you at any of the following six additional offices:

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

Administration of an Estate Pending Legal Proceedings

When a court action regarding a Will or an estate is commenced, it can often cause delays in the administration of an estate. This can be bad news for the overall value of an estate – expenses to maintain assets continue to accumulate, debts may not get paid.

Even if the deceased owned a home, it may be impossible to take advantage of a strong real estate market to maximize the home’s value. This state of limbo can be incredibly frustrating for anyone with an interest in the estate.

Section 103 of the Wills, Estates and Succession Act allows the court to appoint someone to administer the estate while the legal proceeding is ongoing. The administrator will typically be a neutral, objective person that does not have an interest in the estate, or someone that all the parties to the litigation agree is an appropriate choice.

When an administrator pending legal proceedings is appointed by the court, they will have all the rights, powers and duties of a regular personal representative (executor of an estate), but they will not be able to distribute the estate. The court may set out other restrictions on the administration, depending on the circumstances.

Here are some examples of tasks that the administrator pending legal proceedings is able to undertake:

• Pay ongoing estate expenses and debts if there are funds available,

• Sell estate assets, such as real estate, businesses and vehicles,

• Collect money owed to the estate, and

• File estate income tax returns to avoid penalties and interest.

Having an administrator managing the estate while the legal proceeding is ongoing can mean that once the litigation is over, wrapping up the estate can be done more quickly and efficiently.

Related: Estate Disputes- know your rights

The administrator pending legal proceedings is eligible to be compensated for their services based either on the limits set out in the Trustee Act, or as determined by the court. The cost, however, can be worth it in many cases.

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

Divorce and Bankruptcy – When it Rains it Pours

Working as a divorce lawyer, I am often struck by how often it is that several bad things happen to someone all at the same time. “When it rains it pours” seems a particularly fitting maxim when practicing family law in Toronto.

In one case, our firm had signed an opposing party to an agreement that had so effectively cut them off from the family assets that there was a very real risk that they would declare bankruptcy in the middle of the lawsuit. We had to consider how this would affect to the division of family assets were this to occur and how to protect our client.

The timing of a declaration of bankruptcy is important in terms of how it relates to division of property in a matrimonial context. This is because, subject to limited exceptions, at the moment of bankruptcy all of the property of the bankrupt is vested in the trustee in bankruptcy as per s. 71 of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.

Toronto Divorce Lawyers
Under the Family Law Act, as of the date of separation, each spouse has a right to an undivided one-half interest in all “family property” and is equally responsible for “family debt.” So if a spouse becomes bankrupt after separation, the bankrupt’s one-half interest in all of the family property can vest in the trustee in bankruptcy – this could be property in either spouse’s name.

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

Normally a one-half interest in the family property for each spouse is the starting point for figuring out the division of assets in matrimonial litigation – parties are then at liberty to apply for reapportionment of these assets under the FLA.

Things become murky, though, at this point as case law is contradictory over what seems to happen when one spouse’s claim for reapportionment (in the middle of the matrimonial litigation) butts up against a trustee in bankruptcy’s claim to a bankrupt spouse’s one-half interest in family property.

Toronto Divorce Lawyers

So far the prevailing view is that the bankrupt spouse’s assignment into bankruptcy precludes the non-bankrupt spouse from a reapportionment claim. This means that the non-bankrupt spouse risks losing the family property that they might have otherwise won in court through reapportionment if the other spouse declares bankruptcy too quickly.

Fortunately, we were able to settle the matter before this occurred and the crisis was averted. Divorces are rarely pleasant affairs, and no one needs a lawyer to tell them that adding Bankruptcy to the mix does little to improve them.

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