Determining capacity issues at the outset of a relationship with a client is crucial for developing strategies for testamentary and inter vivos wealth transfers. Although this area of law is well understood, the delicate intricacies of undue influence provide a more difficult challenge.
Understanding how to screen for the different types of undue influence at the time documents are prepared and executed can greatly affect wealth transfer strategies later on.
Explore the law governing attacks based on suggestions of a lack of capacity and undue influence with this esteemed panel. Learn techniques for assessing and addressing specific scenarios.
Faculty and Discussion Topics
Join seminar chair John Poyser on March 1 (Edmonton) and March 8 (Calgary) for Capacity and Influence. Hone your skills and develop strategies for identifying and addressing issues related to capacity and undue influence.
In a recent interview, we spoke to John Poyser about the program. Here’s what he had to say.
Transfers are frequently flawed for one of two reasons. The first reason would be that the person making the transfer does not have the necessary powers of mind to do so. Second, you have undue influence. The law generated a collection of legal tools to be used to challenge a transfer of wealth if there was pressure or improper conduct around the making of the transfer. That’s typically undue influence. At this seminar, we are going to take those various challenges to wealth transfer: capacity and undue influence in both such forms, inter vivos and testamentary.”
John also spoke about the diversity of the panel.
We have panelists from three different provinces: British Columbia, Ontario, and Alberta. We also have a mixture of expertise; 4 of the panelists are lawyers, one is a psychologist. Psychologist Dr. Arlin Pachet will be able to provide some very down to earth, nuts and bolts commentary on the ability of a psychologist to render opinions and conduct assessments, which could assist the court, not only dealing with capacity but also dealing with testamentary and inter vivos undue influence. Stan Rule from Sabey Rule LLP will provide a suggested template or guideline of best practices to consult. I think that what he is going to provide will be revolutionary for a lot of lawyers here in Alberta who would otherwise be unaware and be re-inventing the wheel, which has been thoroughly developed already in B.C. Another one of the presenters is Kimberly Whaley from Toronto. She’s part of a boutique law firm in Toronto and practices exclusively in estate and gift litigation. She is in a position to write a very good paper and can comment from a wealth of dedicated experience of multiple years in a boutique shop on exactly the issue of inter vivos undue influence from a litigation perspective. She has a reputation across Canada and has been in demand from coast to coast for a decade.
Program Benefits and Takeaways
John also told us what he thinks attendees will find beneficial about the program.
I think attendees will come away with a more significant and better defined understanding of capacity principals. Litigators will come out with a far better understanding of how to attack and defend wealth transfers. Solicitors are going to be far better at putting these transactions together in a way that they can’t be challenged afterwards and will be in a better position to protect their clients.
Finally, john told us what he’s most excited about in the upcoming program.
Here’s what John had to say about the program takeaways that attendees will receive.
There is very little available in Alberta and across Canada by way of practice guides or practice directions to deal with equitable undue influence or inter vivos gifting. So, there are checklists of plenty to be found here in testamentary transfers. What’s largely missing, a huge gap in the law, are practice codes that deal with inter vivos transfers by living individuals. Kimberly is going to be in a position to talk about that from a litigation perspective.