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Category Archives: TOPICS

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Kidnapped for Ransom

Posted in Estate & Trust, General Interest, Trustees
I recently came across an interesting article published by STEP titled “Held to Ransom” written by Robert Mack.  The article outlines several considerations for those setting up trusts in circumstances where it is conceivably possible that the beneficiary (or beneficiaries) of the trust could be kidnapped for ransom. While the prospect is not pleasant, in… Continue Reading

Trusts – Keeping matters private

Posted in Estate Planning, Trustees
The administration of estates can be an inherently public affair. Those individuals who may have gone to great lengths to keep their affairs private during their lifetime can suddenly find their intimate personal details published for all to see, with a copy of their Will becoming public record in an open court file if probate… Continue Reading

The Rising Age of Debt

Posted in Elder Law, Estate Planning
In recent years, Canadians seem more content with accumulating debt in their working years. While debt can be necessary to gain education or accumulate assets, it can cause issues into the future with regard to retirement planning. According to a report by Hoyes, Michalos & Associates Inc., thirty per cent of personal insolvencies filed in… Continue Reading

Equalization – When there is something worse than getting nothing under a Will

Posted in Support After Death, Wills
A surviving married spouse receives nothing in their late spouse’s Will. They come into your office one week prior to the six month anniversary of their spouses death, and you begin the process of putting together an Application for dependant’s support under Part V of the Succession Law Reform Act. As part of the strategy… Continue Reading

Service Through Social Media

Posted in Litigation
A recent review of case law, helpfully summarized here, highlights the increasing use of social media with respect to the service of Court documents. According to Rule 16.04 of the Rules of Civil Procedure, “Where it appears to the court that it is impractical for any reason to effect prompt service of an originating process… Continue Reading

How to Resign as Power of Attorney

Posted in Litigation, Power of Attorney
In Balacko v. Chepil-Coyle, a mother had previously appointed her three daughters jointly as attorneys.  In April 2011, she appointed her daughter and son-in-law as attorneys for property and for personal care.  In May 2011, the attorneys delivered a Notice of Resignation, which states: “This Resignation is effective when received by You (the Grantor) and… Continue Reading

More Changes to the Taxation of Testamentary Trusts

Posted in Estate & Trust, In the News
On April 23, 2015, the Ontario Government released its 2015 Budget.  Among other things, the Budget proposes changes to the taxation of testamentary trusts. Traditionally, inter vivos trusts (those created by an individual during their lifetime) have paid tax at the highest individual income tax rates, whereas testamentary trusts (which are created by a will)… Continue Reading

Governing Jurisdiction for Equalization Claims

Posted in Litigation
The recent decision of Burkhardt v. Burkhardt Estate deals with property rights of spouses and the question of governing jurisdiction.  In this case, the parties were married in Germany, where they lived together until 2003. The testator then moved permanently to Ontario. His wife did not join him. The testator died in Ontario in 2013.… Continue Reading

Cyberbullying Legislation Applied to Siblings in Estate Dispute

Posted in Estate & Trust, Executors and Trustees, General Interest, Litigation
Sibling rivalry coupled with the loss of a parent and an actual or perceived impropriety of one sibling in handling his or her estate can turn even the closest siblings into sparring adversaries. While such emotionally charged disputes often become heated, most siblings are able to maintain civility in their dealings. What happens when one… Continue Reading

The Illegitimate Children of Westeros

Posted in In the News, New Media Observations, TOPICS, Wills
In the Game of Thrones universe, being born out of wedlock results in significant negative social and legal consequences. A “bastard” – a term frequently used in the Seven Kingdoms, although no longer considered appropriate in our world – cannot inherit their father’s lands or titles. They are also not entitled to enjoy the “privileges… Continue Reading

5 Considerations for Estate Trustees

Posted in Estate & Trust, Trustees
Estate trustees can have a difficult task ahead of them, especially when it comes to the administration of complex estates. While the following list is not exhaustive, it outlines some questions for individuals to consider when acting as estate trustees. How much do you expect to get paid? Estate trustees are entitled to compensation that… Continue Reading