Matthew Furrow’s practice focuses exclusively on estate, trust, guardianship, and capacity disputes. He helps estate beneficiaries understand and enforce their rights; advises executors and trustees on how to meet their duties to beneficiaries, and defends them against litigation claims; represents parties in disputes over the validity of wills and powers of attorney; and helps family members obtain legal guardianship over loved ones who no longer have the ability to make decisions for themselves. Matthew also represents other lawyers where there is a dispute over their conduct in estate matters.
Matthew started his career at a national, full-service law firm where he represented clients in estate and commercial litigation matters. After five years on Bay Street, Matthew then practiced estate litigation at a leading Toronto firm for more than three years before joining Ben Arkin to establish Arkin Furrow Estate Law in 2019.
Matthew has advocated for clients at all levels of court in Ontario. He enjoys going to court, but always prioritizes practical and principled solutions for his clients. This means assessing a case early to see whether and when it can be settled cost-effectively, and keeping clients informed of their options at all times. If a case cannot or should not be settled, it should be carried forward with purpose and resolve. Matthew is an avid chess player who understands the importance of strategizing ahead and anticipating the adverse party’s next move.
Matthew has written and spoken extensively on estate matters, both to other lawyers, to healthcare professionals, and to the public. The Court of Appeal for Ontario, the province’s highest court, has approvingly cited a paper Matthew co-wrote.
As a law student, Matthew volunteered at his school’s legal aid clinic. He helped low-income clients, some with mental health issues, face a variety of legal challenges. He has also volunteered for the Law Help Ontario program, assisting people who can’t afford a lawyer in understanding how to proceed with litigation.
Matthew was called to the Bar of Ontario in 2010. He has a J.D. from Osgoode Hall Law School, an M.A. from the University of Toronto, and a B.A. from Bishop’s University. In addition to his legal writing, Matthew has been published in the Journal of American History.
PUBLICATIONS | PRESENTATIONS | MEDIA
- Chair, Ontario Bar Association seminar Fiduciary Accounting: Key Issues and Practice Advice, September 2022.
- Speaker, “Alternatives to Professional Negligence Claims” at Ontario Bar Association seminar Solicitor’s Negligence Claims: Strategies for Effective Advocacy, October 2021.
- Co-Author, “Will Challenges and the Limitations Act, 2002: A Reconsideration,” Estates Trusts & Pensions Journal, February 2021.
- Author, “Bypassing Accounts: How a Fiduciary Can Avoid a Formal Court Accounting,” Annual Review of Civil Litigation, September 2020.
- Co-Author, “Revisiting Limitations and Passing Accounts in Ontario: A comment on Wall v. Shaw,” Advocates’ Quarterly, December 2019.
- Speaker, “Limitations in Estate Litigation,” seminar for Osgoode 2019 Essential Guide to Limitation Periods in Ontario, March 2019.
- Panelist, “Tackling Financial Abuse of Elders,” seminar for Osgoode Certificate in Elder Law, Toronto, March 2019.
- Speaker, debating “Con” side of the question “No limitation period exists on the right to compel a trustee to pass accounts or to object to the accounts,” Ontario Bar Association Institute 2019: Tackling Unsettled Issues in Trusts and Estates Law seminar, February 2019.
- Co-Author, “Wall v. Shaw: A Case Comment,” paper for Ontario Bar Association Institute 2019: Tackling Unsettled Issues in Trusts and Estates Law seminar, February 2019.
- Speaker, “What is the Duty to Account for Underlying Corporate Transactions When an Estate Holds Corporate Assets?” at Law Society of Ontario seminar Estate Accounting 2019, Toronto, January 2019.
- Author, “The Duty of a Trustee-Director to Account for Trust-Owned Corporations,” paper for Law Society of Ontario seminar Estate Accounting 2019, Toronto, January 2019.
- Author, “A Case Comment: Estate Trustees’ Personal Liability for Costs in Sweetnam v. Lesage,” Deadbeat (OBA.org), October 2018.
- Speaker, “Capacity Letters: A Cautionary Primer,” seminar at St. Joseph’s Health Centre, Toronto, September 2018.
- Panelist, “Living Now, Planning for the Future,” seminar at St. Joseph’s Health Centre, Toronto, June 2018.
- Author, “Foreign Guardians of Property and the Ontario Substitute Decisions Act,” Estates Trusts & Pensions Journal, December 2017.
- Speaker, “Five Mistakes That Trustees Make in Probate Matters,” at Law Society of Upper Canada seminar Practice Gems: Probate Essentials 2017, Toronto, September 2017.
- Author, “Five Mistakes That Trustees Make in Probate Matters,” paper for Law Society of Upper Canada seminar Practice Gems: Probate Essentials 2017, September 2017.
- Panelist, “Making Crucial Decisions: Planning Ahead for Changes in Health and Living Arrangements,” seminar at St. Joseph’s Health Centre, Toronto, June 2017.
- Interviewee, “Parental leave: More and better choices for everyone,” JUST magazine (OBA.org), April 27, 2017.
- Co-Author, “A Residential Tenancies Act Primer for Estate Lawyers,” Deadbeat (OBA.org), April 2017.
- Panelist, “Essential Update on Estate Litigation Costs,” Ontario Bar Association seminar, Toronto, February 2017.
- Co-Author, “The Limitation of Applications to Pass Accounts,” Advocates’ Quarterly, November 2016.
- Interviewee, “Laws required so courts can nix discriminatory wills,” Law Times, June 20, 2016.
- Author, “Case Comment: Spence v. BMO Trust Company, 2016 ONCA 196,” Deadbeat (OBA.org), May 2016.
- Speaker, Case Comment on Spence v. BMO Trust Company, at Ontario Bar Association Tax Update seminar, Toronto, April 2016.
- Author, “Donor Beware: Recent Changes Limit Testamentary Contributions to Federal Political Parties,” Deadbeat (OBA.org), October 2015.
- Author, “Changes to Rules Extend the Period Before an Action is Administratively Dismissed for Delay,” BLG Litigation Bulletin, December 2014.
- Author, “The Difficulty of Rectifying a Will Where the Solicitor Asserts No Error Was Made,” Deadbeat (OBA.org), October 2013.
- Speaker, “Dealing with Chattels Left Behind after Termination of a Lease,” Springfest property management conference, Toronto, April 2013.
- Co-Speaker, “Will Challenges: From Suspicious Circumstances to Capacity – How a Will Can Be Challenged,” Institute of Law Clerks of Ontario seminar, Toronto, January 2013.
- Chapter Editor, Securities Law and Practice, 3rd edition (looseleaf), Carswell & Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, 2010-13.