Fun Facts:

  • I may be a high school drop-out, but I have a PhD in law from Cambridge.
  • I like to work with my hands – blacksmithing, woodturning, box-making. At one time, I was self-employed as a glazier & metal mechanic  (not engines – storefronts and those big buildings made of glass and aluminum).
  • Habs, bordering on religious.


I practice in the areas in which my teaching and scholarship is concentrated – trusts, estates, and substitute decision-making. I feel that my academic and practice work strengthens my expertise and keeps me current in a way that I could not achieve by restricting my work to either one of them alone. In my teaching, I try to concentrate on foundational principles and skills so that students understand the content of the law and the manner in which it is applied in real situations. In practice, I am very conscious of the time and cost that is involved in bringing a dispute to a conclusion. The goal is to obtain an acceptable result as soon as possible and within a reasonable budget.



LLB, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University

MA, Oxford University

PhD, Cambridge University


Certified Specialties:

Estates & Trust Law (Law Society of Ontario)


Professional Memberships:

Law Society of Upper Canada

Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners

The Advocates Society

The Frontenac Law Association



Speaking Engagements and Selected Publications:


The Law of Civil Procedure: Cases, Materials & Commentary (Thomson Reuters)

“When Must Fiduciaries Produce Confidential And/Or Privileged Information To Their Successors?” [Estates, Trusts & Pensions Journal]


“Conflicts When Acting for a Trustee And A Beneficiary” (2022), Estates, Trusts & Pensions Journal 32


“Conflicts When Acting As Trustee And Lawyer” (2021), 40 Estates, Trusts & Pensions Journal 347; reprinted in Anne E.P. Armstrong, Estate Administration: A Reference Manual (2021, Thomson Reuters)

The Law Of Trusts: A Contextual Approach, 5th ed. (Emond Montgomery, 2021) (“Administration of Trusts” chapter)

Co-author, Oosterhoff on Wills, Eighth Edition (chapters on “Dependants’ Support” and “Substitute Decision-Making”)



OBA – Common Estate Planning Pitfalls 2020 – “Dealing With Life Insurance, Separation Agreements, and Dependant’s Support”
November 24, 2020

B’nai Brith Trusts & Estates Group, Wills & Estate Practice in Difficult Times (October 20 and 26; November 2 and 9, 2020). I presented papers on dependant’s support, difficult clauses in Wills, testamentary capacity, and Henson trusts)

Law Society of Ontario, The Six-Minute Estates Lawyer 2020 (“Conflicts of Interest When Acting as a Trustee and Lawyer”)

OBA Institute 2020 – “Limitations and Will Contests”, and, “Can An Attorney Make Designation Changes For An Incapable Donor?” [republished in Estate Administration: A Solicitor’s Reference Manual)

“The Opinion Letter” presented at the OBA conference, Mastering Appeals in Estate, Trust, Power of Attorney and Guardianship Hearings (April, 2020)



“Cradle to Grave” (1.5 day educational seminar for the judges of the Nfld. & Lab. Supreme Court)

“Undue Influence and Financial Exploitation of Older Adults” (Advocis, Kingston)

“The Good, The Bad and the Ugly – Estate Planning to Avoid Litigation” (Seniors Advisory Counsel, Kingston)

The Law Of Trusts: A Contextual Approach, 4th ed. (Emond Montgomery, 2019) (“Administration of Trusts” chapter)



‘The Court’s Rectification Power in Wills & Trusts’ (OBA, Toronto)



‘Drafting and Attacking Charging Clauses in a Will’ (2017), 36 Estates, Trusts & Pensions Journal 160; reprinted in Lindsay Histrop, Estate Planning Precedents: A Solicitor’s Manual



‘Drafting and Attacking Charging Clauses in a Will’ [Law Society of Upper Canada, Annual Estates and Trusts Summit]

Co-author, Oosterhoff on Wills, Eighth Edition (wrote chapters on “Dependants’ Support” and “Substitute Decision-Making”)

‘Drafting and Attacking a Charging Clause in a Will’ (2016), 36 Estates, Trusts & Pensions Journal 160



“Administration of Trusts” chapter in The Law Of Trusts: A Contextual Approach, 3rd Edition (Emond Montgomery)

‘Accessorial Liability for Breach of Trust and  Fiduciary Duty’ [Law Society of Upper Canada, Annual Estates and Trusts Summit]



“Probate Contests And The New Law Of Summary Judgment” (2014), 34 Estates, Trusts & Pensions Journal 199

‘Trends in the Application of the Limitations Rules in Trusts & Estates Litigation’ [Law Society of Upper Canada, Annual Estates and Trusts Summit]

‘Why Passing of Accounts Matter’ [Law Society of Upper Canada, 15 February 2014]

Halton County – Estates and Family Law Seminar  [May 9, 2014]



‘Variation of Trusts’ [16th Annual Estates and Trusts Summit, Law Society of Upper Canada, 11 November 2013]

‘The ‘Opinion, Advice, and Direction’ of the Court: Principles, Procedures, and Judicial Blessings’  (2013), 32 Estates Trusts and Pensions Journal 41

‘Mediation of Estate Disputes’ [Estates Planning Council,  25 Sept. 2013]

‘Care of the Frail Elderly: Navigating the Maze’ [Centre for Studies in Aging and Health, 5 June 2013]

‘Legal Issues Affecting Residents and Families of Residents in Long-Term Care’ [Reach Canada, Ottawa, 23 May 2013]

‘Civil Law Seminar: Persons and Property from Cradle to Grave (and Beyond)’ [National Judicial Institute, 14-15 May 2013]

2nd Annual East Region Estates and Trusts Seminar: (1) The Use of Insurance Trusts and other Family Trusts in Estates; (2) Review of Mutual and Mirror Wills; (3) Exculpatory Clauses [Perth/Lanark Law Association, 1 May 2013]

‘Civil Litigators Series – Wills and Estates’  [Law Society of Upper Canada, 22 Feb. 2013]



‘The ‘Opinion, Advice, and Direction’ of the Court: Principles, Procedures, and Judicial Blessings’ [Law Society of Upper Canada, Annual Estates and Trusts Summit]

‘Disputes Amongst Multiple Trustees: What Rights Does A Minority Estate Trustee Have Against An Oppressive Majority?’ (2012), 32 Estates, Trusts & Pensions Journal 41

‘Mutual Wills’, and, ‘Lapse & Anti-Lapse’. Both at the County of Lanark Law Association East Region Estates and Trusts Seminar



‘The Developing Law of Unjust Enrichment: Cohabitational Relationships’, Frontenac Law Association, Estates & Trusts Section

‘Addressing Oppressive Conduct by Jointly-Appointed Estate Trustees’, Law Society of Upper Canada, Annual Estates and Trusts Summit

‘The Implications of Alberta v Elder Advocates of Alberta Society for Elder Law’, 41st Annual Workshop on Commercial and Consumer Law, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto

‘Summary Judgement and the Changing Face of Estate Litigation’, Kingston & the 1000 Islands Legal Conference

‘Elder Law’ Elders Gathering, Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte

‘The Fiduciary Principle at the Intersection of Private and Public Law’ Estates & Trusts Group, Ottawa

‘Elder Law and Elder Abuse’ PEAN, AGM

‘Elder Law’ Retirees’ Association Queen’s

‘Misfeasance, Nonfeasance and the Self-Interested Attorney’ (2011), 48 Osgoode Hall Law Journal 457

Power of Attorney Issues, Estate Planning Council of Eastern Ontario



‘Elder Law in Canada: A Country without a Flag’, Canadian Conference on Elder Law

Power of Attorney Issues, Law Society of Upper Canada, 13th Annual Estates and Trusts Summit

‘Elder Law’, AGM, Kingston Community Legal Aid Clinic

‘Substitute Decision-Making and Fraud’, Elder Law Clinic Event for Professionals, Kingston


blacksmihing collage