Photo of Craig Vander Zee

Craig Vander Zee

Tel: 416 643 8812  Fax: 1 877 689 3912
Email: cvanderzee@torkinmanes.com

Craig is a partner in our Trusts & Estates and Litigation Groups and is certified by the Law Society of Upper Canada as a Specialist in Estates and Trusts Law. His practice includes all aspects of estate, trust, capacity, fiduciary and power of attorney disputes and litigation for clients consisting of individuals, trust companies, government agencies and other organizations.

Craig provides counsel on, amongst other things, the rights and obligations of estate trustees, estate trustees during litigation, trustees, attorneys for property or care, and guardians, and the rights and entitlements of beneficiaries. His extensive experience includes matters involving powers of attorney, estate administration, probate applications, passing of accounts, the appointment or removal of estate trustees, trustees or guardians, the validity or interpretation of wills, capacity, undue influence, guardianship, estate or trust claims, breaches of trust, claims against an estate including dependant support claims, minors and the incapable.

Craig is also an Estate Mediator.

In 2010-2011, Craig was the Chair of the Trusts and Estates Section of the Ontario Bar Association. He was also a member of the Advisory Group for the Law Commission of Ontario Project on the Law as it Affects Older Adults.

Craig has represented clients before all levels of Court in Ontario, the Federal Court of Canada, the trial and appellate Courts of Alberta and various tribunals and boards.

  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory - Estate and Tax Planning, Estate Litigation (2016)
  • The Best Lawyers in Canada© - Trusts and Estates (2017)
  • Chosen by LawDay as one of the leading practitioners in Canada in the area of Estates and Trusts (2009)
  • Addressing Confidentiality Concerns Involved in Court Proceedings

    17th Annual Estates and Trusts Summit, Law Society of Upper Canada

  • Improper Conduct by an Executor: What is a Beneficiary or Co-Executor to do?

    16th Annual Estates and Trusts Law Summit, The Law Society of Upper Canada

  • Interpretation, Rectification and Variation Applications: A Primer

    Practice Gems: The Administration of Estates, The Law Society of Upper Canada

  • What should Beneficiaries do when they suspect the executor of improper conduct including defrauding the estate?

    Fraud and Estate Litigation, B’Nai Brith Canada

  • Administrative Tribunals: Capacity to Instruct Counsel - Revisited

    Co-authored with Craig Vander Zee (Presenter), Administrative Law Practice Essentials 2013, The Law Society of Upper Canada

  • Administrative Tribunals: Capacity to Instruct Counsel - Revisited

    Administrative Law Practice Essentials 2013, The Law Society of Upper Canada

  • Remedies for Breach of Trust: An Overview

    15th Annual Estates and Trusts Law Summit, The Law Society of Upper Canada

  • Cross-Examination

    Disinherited Beneficiaries, Testamentary Independence and Public Policy, B’Nai Brith Canada

  • Shielding the Estate from Mismanagement: Lesson Learned from Penna and McMichael

    The Six-Minute Estates Lawyer 2012, Law Society of Upper Canada

  • Estoppel – Do promises really matter?

    14th Annual Estates and Trusts Law Summit, Law Society of Upper Canada

More Speaking & Writing
  • Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), Member of Executive, Toronto Branch
  • The Advocates’ Society
  • Toronto Lawyers Association
  • Estate Planning Council of Toronto
  • Ontario Bar Association
  • Ontario Bar Association - Trusts and Estates Section, Chair (in 2010-2011)
  • Ontario Bar Association, National Elder Law Liaison, past member
  • Canadian Bar Association, National Wills, Trusts and Estates Committee, past member
  • Bench and Bar Committee, Toronto Region Estates List, past member
  • Advisory Group, Law Commission of Ontario Project on the Law as it Affects Older Adults, past member
  • Coach-at-Large, Markham Minor Hockey Association, Assistant Coach
  • Assistant Coach, Markham Soccer Club
  • Past Coach, Markham District Baseball Association
  • Past Co-Chair of a number of charitable golf tournaments

Services

Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory Best Lawyers Award Badge

Credentials

  • Certified by the Law Society of Upper Canada as a Specialist in Estates and Trusts Law
  • Called to the Ontario Bar, 1994

Education

  • Arbitration Course, Arbitration and Mediation Institute of Ontario Inc.
  • LL.B., Queen’s University Law School, 1992
  • B.A., Honours Economics and Commerce, Royal Military College, Kingston, 1989