Ontario Civil

Civil Procedure

Language of minutes of settlement not vague, contradictory or unclear

Deceased had been in common law relationship with wife for 18 years when he died. Deceased and wife resided in home that was in name of company, whose shares were in deceased’s name. Deceased had two children from prior union, son and daughter. Deceased’s will named wife executrix and trustee of estate. Will provided that residue of estate would be transferred in equal shares to wife, son and daughter. Wife filed application for certificate of appointment of estate trustee, which son objected to. Son raised issue of validity of will. Sister brought motion for directions. Court appointed B estate trustee during litigation. B tried to sell home but wife resisted his efforts, claiming she was owner of property. B sought advice and directions from court. Wife initiated lawsuits. Son brought motion to remove B as estate trustee and to have sister appointed estate trustee. Parties entered into minutes of settlement. Son brought motion for order nullifying settlement agreement. Motion dismissed. Minutes of settlement were binding contract between those who executed agreement. There was no issue of son’s capacity or intention to enter into minutes of settlement. Mediation and resulting settlement addressed all outstanding issues. Language of minutes of settlement was not vague, contradictory or unclear. There was no basis in law to nullify minutes of settlement.

Bryant v. Bryant Estate (Jan. 9, 2015, Ont. S.C.J., Louise L. Gauthier J., File No. 2013-6967) 248 A.C.W.S. (3d) 804.

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