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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A Lawsuit in Time Saves Nine

I've been reading cases for 30 years, but every now and then I still see one that makes my jaw drop in amazement. I read about one jaw-dropper recently on the blog belonging to Whaley Estate Litigation, a Toronto law firm.

The case is that of Daley v. Daley, a new case from Ontario The facts are absolutely unbelievable. Mr. and Mrs. Daley married in 1990 (a second marriage for both) and separated in 1999. They did not get divorced. They sold the house and each bought their own place. They stayed friends and talked almost every day. Mrs. Daley became ill in 1991 and couldn't work, so Mr. Daley voluntarily gave her financial support.

In 2014 Mr. Daley told Mrs. Daley that he was going to revise his will. Once she heard his plans, Mrs. Daley sprang into action. She used the Power of Attorney document that Mr. Daley had signed when they were married and took $22,000 from his accounts (this was his entire line of credit). She bought a car and gave the rest of the money to her daughter. Then she phoned the police and told them Mr. Daley was harassing her. It was only after he called her as usual that he found out about this, and found out about the missing money.

Mr. Daley decided to get on with the divorce in light of these new events. The craziness continued. During the divorce proceedings, Mrs. Daley said that they had separated in 2014, not 1999 and therefore she was entitled to equalization payment as well as spousal maintenance.

Eventually the court sorted it out in Mr. Daley's favour.

What a mess! The author of the blog post, Laura Cardiff, made an excellent point in her discussion of the case (click here to read it). She said that as messy as this lawsuit was, it was nothing compared to what would have happened if Mr. Daley had lost capacity while his ex-wife still had the power of attorney, or died leaving his ex-wife to contest his will. I completely agree. Obviously Mrs. Daley would have tied the estate up for years in her attempts to lie her way into a greater share of it.

At least Mr. Daley learned the truth in time to make a new will leaving her out of it.


  1. There is no end to the treachery of greed. My brother has tied up my mother's property rights, taking all its' income for 14 years because my father made my brother executor out of spite. From the grave my father is enjoying the fact that being cruel to our mother has been continued by my brother.

  2. My mother passed recently. In her will everything is divided equally. Except my house, it isn't mentioned because it was supposed to be in Joint tenancy. (confirmed by her lawyers notes) We discovered a Tenants in common situation and not JT! I have many witnesses to her saying it was my house in her last months. A letter saying the house was only ever in her name as a convenience to me. (I have very poor judgement in partners)lost 2 houses..
    One brother(executor) wants 1/2 the house or a trial. Anything I can do to stop a trial?

    1. Generally speaking, the best way to avoid a trial is to go to mediation. Has anybody's lawyer suggested this? If not, definitely look into it. It's way faster, way cheaper, way more private, and may also save the family relationships.



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