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Expert’s Letter of Engagement is Critical

The importance of the letter of engagement provided by counsel to an expert retained to assess testamentary capacity retroactively cannot be overstated.

In a decision following a five day will challenge trial (Leonard v. Zychowicz, 2020 ONSC 662), Justice Sweeny found that the summary of facts provided to the expert by engaging counsel “was acknowledged to be created with advocacy in mind” and that “the summary of facts could be seen to taint the evidence” of the expert.

This in part led to the Court’s preference of the evidence of the other party’s expert and a dismissal of the will challenge.

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