Ask Chuck – Merovitz Potechin LLP #ask #math #problems

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Ask Chuck

We share our knowledge of the law so that together we can make confident decisions.

Responses posted on this website do not constitute legal advice. Please review our terms of use .

Here are some previously answered questions:

My mother passed away 2001 my sister and myself were the executors, there was no money left in the estate so I paid for my mother’s funeral. 14 years later we found out my mother had a life insurance policy. Can I get the money back for the funeral expenses?

You should be able to recover your funeral expenses from the life insurance proceeds.

I was surprised by a claim against my company by a client who owed me money. There were some settlement negotiations but then the Plaintiff stalled the process in 2012. Nothing has happened with the claim since. The claim is still public record and damaging to my company. Is there is a limitation on how long unsettled claims hang around and what if anything can be done to remove this unsettled lawsuit from the public record?

Within the Rules of Civil Procedure ( ) are two Rules that deal with dismissing actions for delay. Rule 24 deals with the Defendant asking the court to dismiss a matter for delay, when the Plaintiff is unreasonably letting the case stay in limbo, while Rule 48.14 deals with a court initiated procedure to dismiss a matter for delay after 5 years.

My grandfather is 85 years old, and his mental capacity is uncertain. He told me that he wanted to make a will leaving me everything and leaving nothing to his other 5 grandchildren. I took him to my lawyer and my lawyer insisted that he talked to my grandfather, without me there. My grandfather then told me that the lawyer refused to make a will for him. Can he do that?

A lawyer is obliged to form the opinion that the person whose will he is creating has the mental capacity to make a will. Assuming that the lawyer formed the opinion that your grandfather did not have the required capacity, the lawyer acted properly.

The Ontario Employment Standards state: It is against the law for an employer to directly or indirectly require, request, enable or influence an employee to take a lie detector test. Are there exceptions to this law? (e.g. for security)

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Ontario is one of two provinces, New Brunswick being the other, with employment legislation that prohibits the use of lie detector tests. This does not of course stop the use of a lie detector test by a police force in the course of an investigation of a criminal offence.

More information can be found here:

A co-worker had filed criminal charges against me. My employer decided to terminate me due to these allegations. I was found not guilty in December. My grievances filed, are not being responded to. Can I legally pursue my employer?

It is very possible that you may have a claim for wrongful dismissal. I need to know much more about the facts. If you like, I will have one of our lawyers call you to learn more about your situation.

How to file and serve 18B intent to defend? Can I do it at any court house? What is the whole procedure?  Alfred

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Hi Alfred,

Form 18B – Notice of Intent to Defend-  is a court form that a defendant may file if he/she does not have enough time to complete and file his/her statement of defence in the time prescribed. By filing a Notice of Intent to Defend the defendant is awarded an additional 10 days to file his/her statement of defence. The form can be downloaded from the official site of the Ministry of the Attorney General at: You will need to fill the form to include the name of the parties, your personal information (address and telephone number) and the information of the plaintiff(s).

The Notice of Intent to Defend has to be served on the other parties. This can done in a number of ways, depending on whether or not the other parties are represented. An Affidavit of Service has to be prepared, in which the defendant swears that the Notice of Intent to Defend was served on the other parties and the method of service. The Notice along with the Affidavit of Service are then filed with the court where the claim was commenced.

The Notice of Intent to Defend is just the first step in what can be a long and complicated process. The Rules of Civil procedure governing civil litigation can be confusing and it is advisable to consult with a lawyer regarding the law and the procedures to be followed.

I served the Statement of the claim on October 31, 2014, the defendant filed and served me with Notice of intent to defend, first of all today is the day I can file the default Judgment? If I file the default Judgment, should I inform the defendant?

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Yes, you should notify the defendant because if you don’t give the defendant a last warning with some time to do the statement of defence, it is quite likely that a Court would set aside your judgement.

My uncle who has quite a bit of money wants to give me his power of attorney for property. I would like to know what my obligations are if I accept.

Your primary obligation is to always act in the utmost good faith for the benefit of your uncle. You must be very careful of accepting gifts from your uncle and you must be very prudent if you are making investments on behalf of your uncle. You must keep very detailed records of every financial transaction.

My dad died about 6 months ago and my uncle is the executor of the estate. The estate is mostly cash and I am in need of money so I was hoping for a quick payment from the estate. My uncle says that he does not have to pay out anything from the estate until year has passed from the death of my dad. Is he right?

Your uncle is correct. It is very unlikely that any court would order him to make a distribution from the estate before one year. The executor’s year as it is known is usually required to enable the executor to pay all the debts of the estate, file all necessary tax returns, pay all taxes and get a clearance certificate from Canada revenue agency.

Are judges elected in Canada?

There are no Canadian judges that are elected. Provincial court judges are appointed by the provincial government. Superior Court judges for all of the different provinces and territories are appointed by the federal government. Supreme Court of Canada judges are appointed by the federal government but they must meet certain criteria.

I ve been a good employee for 20 years. About six months ago my boss changed and we really don t get along. He is threatening to fire me. Can he do that?

Your boss can fire you but there are consequences. If you are in a federally regulated environment then you can try to get reinstatement through the legal process. In other cases, you re not entitled to reinstatement but you are entitled to payment for inadequate notice of termination of your employment.

If I go bankrupt, do I have to pay any more money to my creditors during bankruptcy?

When you go bankrupt, your trustee in bankruptcy will be required to determine if your total income exceeds that which is necessary for you to maintain a reasonable standard of living.  Your trustee will look to government guidelines and to your personal situation to determine this. If your trustee determines that you have surplus income, then you will have to pay that sum to your trustee paid on a monthly basis. If you are a first time bankrupt, you will pay for 21 months.  If you are a second time bankrupt, the time period is 36 months.

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