Benjamin Arkin is a litigator with more than a decade of experience working with his clients to resolve disputes involving wills, estates, trusts, incapacity, guardianships, and powers of attorney. He has represented clients at all stages of the litigation process from pre-litigation negotiation, to mediation, trial, and appeal.
Estate litigation is a highly specialized area of law, and one in which Ben focuses his practice exclusively. He is a regular chair, writer, and speaker at professional development programs for lawyers and other professionals on a wide range of topics. He draws on an established network of connections with other professionals who offer complementary expertise and services in estate, trust, and capacity matters.
Ben previously practiced family law and is ideally positioned to advise clients about the intersection between family law and estate law, including elections to equalize net family property on the death of a spouse, domestic agreements, spousal support, child support, and more.
As for Ben’s approach to representing clients, he believes that every case is different and each calls for a unique strategy. However, his philosophy is that to get a good settlement, you have to be ready, willing and able to go to trial. Good advocacy sometimes means being aggressive, but it always means having the confidence to back up your words with actions.
Ben was called to the Bar of Ontario in 2006. He has a J.D. from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law and a B.Sc. (Hons.) in mechanical engineering from Queen’s University.
On a personal note, Ben lives in Toronto with his wife Adrienne. He enjoys curling, New York Times crosswords, and backcountry camping.
PUBLICATIONS | PRESENTATIONS | MEDIA
- Co-Chair, Ontario Bar Association’s 45th Institute – Trusts & Estates Section, The Great Debate: Tackling Unsettled Issues in Trusts and Estates Law (February 6, 2020)
- Co-Chair, Senior Estates & Trusts Practitioners Forum, Cambridge Forums (November 2019)
- Presenter, “Evidence in the Social Media Age”, 21st Annual Estates and Trusts Summit, Law Society of Ontario (October 16, 2019)
- Co-Chair, Ontario Bar Association’s 44th Institute – Trusts & Estates Section, Tackling Unsettled Issues in Trusts and Estates Law (February 7, 2019)
- Presenter, “Power of Attorney Professionalism Conundrums”, 21st Annual Estates and Trusts Summit, Law Society of Ontario (October 11, 2018)
- Co-Chair, Critical Issues at the Intersection of Family Law, and Trust and Estate Law, Ontario Bar Association (March 8, 2018)
- Presenter, Annual Case Law Update, Estate Planning Council of Toronto (March 6, 2018)
- Presenter, “Contested Passing of Accounts”, Ontario Bar Association (February 27, 2018)
- Presenter, “Family Facilitation: The Newest Tool in the Estate and Capacity Dispute Resolution Toolbelt”, Ontario Bar Association’s 43rd Institute: Emerging Issues in Estates, Trusts and Incapacity Law (February 8, 2018)
- Interviewee, “SCC clarifies proprietary estoppel in novel B.C. estates dispute“, The Lawyer’s Daily (December 14, 2017)
- Presenter, “Garnishment of Estates and Trusts”, 20th Annual Estates and Trusts Summit, Law Society of Upper Canada (October 17, 2017)
- Co-Chair, Preventing, Correcting and Navigating Errors in Estate and Trust Documents, Ontario Bar Association (October 5, 2017)
- Presenter, “Making Sense of Claims by Spouses and Dependants”, Ontario Bar Association (April 25, 2017)
- Presenter, “Managing Family Conflicts in Estate Administration”, Ontario Bar Association (November 22, 2016)
- Interviewee, “Limited scope representation: With the right safeguards, possibilities abound”, LawPRO Magazine, Vol. 15.3 (September 2016)
- Presenter, “Administration of the Insolvent Estate”, The Six-Minute Estates Lawyer 2016, Law Society of Upper Canada (May 3, 2016)
- Presenter, “Ghosts in the Courtroom: Three things civil litigators need to know about the dead”, Ontario Bar Association Institute – Civil Litigation Section (February 2, 2016)
- Author, “‘Off the Record’ Conversations: Yes or No?”, JUST Magazine (January 14, 2016)
- Author, “Advising spouses and estate trustees on Family Law Act elections on the death of a spouse”, Quicklaw Practice Advisor (Ontario Wills, Trusts & Estates Module), LexisNexis (current)
- Contributing Author, “Chapter 3 – Costs of Capacity Litigation”, Whaley Estate Litigation on Guardianship (2015)
- Co-Chair, Bankruptcy and Estates Law: Administration of the Insolvent Estate, Law Society of Upper Canada (October 30, 2015)
- Presenter, “Managing the Family Business During Estate Litigation”, at The Family Business: Administration and Litigation of Trusts and Estates Holding Business Assets, Ontario Bar Association (September 29, 2015)
- Presenter, Fiduciary Accounting: Duties, Obligations, Process & Best Practices, Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (September 16, 2015)
- Presenter, “Banks and Powers of Attorney”, at Banking Litigation: What Every Civil Litigation and In-House Counsel Needs to Know, Ontario Bar Association, (November 5, 2014)
- Contributing Author, “Chapter 3 – Guidelines for Distinguishing Between Income and Capital”, Whaley Estate Litigation on Fiduciary Accounting (2014)
- Interviewee, “Dangers of being your client’s executor”, The Bottom Line, LexisNexis (June 2014)
- Presenter, “Family Law Issues”, Your First Estate Administration, Estates and Trusts Section, Ontario Bar Association (May 29, 2014)
- Chair, “Limited Scope Retainers: You’re Doing Them Anyways, Now Do Them Right”, Ontario Bar Association (November 26, 2013)
- Author, “A Green Light for Summary Judgment: a Case Comment on the Ontario Court of Appeal’s Decision in Orfus Estate”, Deadbeat, Ontario Bar Association Trust and Estates Section Newsletter (October 28, 2013)
- Interviewee, “The executor’s challenge: Disgruntled beneficiaries are increasingly prepared to contest wills, often leaving executors struggling to carry out the deceased’s instructions”, Canadian Lawyer (October 2013)
- Interviewee, “Carrigan ruling prompts push for clarification on beneficiary status”, Law Times (August 19, 2013)
- Presenter, “Digital Life After Death: The Next Level of Estate Planning and Estate Litigation”, The Six-Minute Estates Lawyer 2013, Law Society of Upper Canada (April 24, 2013)
- Co-Author, “The Why, When and How of the Motion for Directions and Order Giving Directions”, Best Practices for Passing of Accounts Applications by Fiduciaries, Law Society of Upper Canada (April 24, 2013)
- Author, “If You Survive Me by 30 Days: A Case Comment on Barbeau Estate”, Money & Family Law, Vol. 28, No. 1, January 2013, No. 2, (January 2013)
- Co-Author, “Estate Litigation in Complex, Blended and Extended Families in an Era of Social and Demographic Change” at the Law Society of Upper Canada Estates and Trusts Summit (November 14, 2012)
- Co-Author, “Predatory Marriage Challengers Have Limited Options”, The Lawyers Weekly, Vol. 32, No. 19 (September 21, 2012)
- Co-Author, “Aging and the Fractured Family: Spousal Claims, Predatory Marriages and Protecting the Vulnerable Client in an Era of Rapid Social and Demographic Change”, Canadian Bar Association, National Wills, Estates and Trust Section; Canadian Legal Conference (August 13, 2012)
- Presenter, “Practicing Post-Vanasse: What the Sudden Evolution of Cohabitation Claims Means for the Bar and Bench” at the Ontario Bar Association program, “Kissing Cousins: Joint Issues in Family Law and Trusts and Estates Law” (May 1, 2012)