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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Appointing a monitor of an estate

In this blog post, Megan Connolly, a Toronto lawyer, talks about a recent case in which an Ontario judge considered when it's appropriate for a monitor to be appointed by the courts for an estate. As Ms. Connelly notes, the role of a monitor isn't very clear. Click here to read the article.

I've noticed in the last five years that a few lawyers are beginning to draft wills with monitor appointments in them. This is something I believe will become more and more common. The issues are clarifying what the monitor is supposed to do, and confirming what legislation gives them the authority to act in certain matters. They are the same growing pains that face all new ideas.

I applaud the move towards the appointment of monitors because almost every day I hear stories of executors who ignore the will, ignore the beneficiaries, ignore deadlines, ignore the law, and pretty much do anything they darn well please. It usually ends up as a fight in a courtroom with irrevocable damage to families and finances. Perhaps executors wouldn't be so quick to fudge the rules if there was a system for monitoring them. Trust companies would be ideal monitors, being neutral, experienced and highly regulated by government.

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