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Category Archives: TOPICS

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An Estate Going to the Dogs

Posted in Charities, Pets, Wills
Two charities are proceeding to an Irish High Court for the adjudication of a dispute over the charitable bequest made pursuant to a Last Will and Testament. The Will in question, executed by Elizabeth Burke of Limerick, Ireland, provided that five hundred thousand of an Estate valued in excess of twelve million euros would be … Continue Reading

New Power of Attorney Legislation Introduced in Saskatchewan

Posted in Elder Law, Power of Attorney
At the beginning of the month, Saskatchewan introduced new rules with respect to Powers of Attorney to help protect aging individuals, specifically those with diminished mental capacity. The amendments introduced within the Powers of Attorney Amendment Act, 2014, are most notably as follows: An attorney for property must now provide a final accounting when he … Continue Reading

To Litigate or To Mediate?

Posted in Litigation, Mediators
The loss of a loved one coupled with an actual or perceived impropriety in the handling of his/her estate often results in contentious estate litigation. And, while litigation may ultimately resolve the dispute, it is not always the best means of dealing with such emotionally charged disagreements. Mediation is a highly effective alternative to litigation. … Continue Reading

A Different Breed of Estate Planning

Posted in Pets
A recent article in the Daily Mail tells the story of Bella Mia Bolasny.  Bella Mia lives a life of luxury.  She travels around the world, eating at five star restaurants.  Her specially designed walk-in closets hold more than a thousand outfits, not to mention jewellery.  She was given an allowance of $100,000 a year … Continue Reading

File Your Estate Information Return On Time

Posted in Executors and Trustees
Under the new regulation to the Estate Administration Tax Act, 1998 (the “EATA“), effective January 1, 2015, estate trustees applying for certificates of appointment will need to file a new form, the Estate Information Return, with the Ministry of Finance.  The Ministry has provided some information on the new rules regarding estate administration tax here. … Continue Reading

Have you registered your consent to be an organ donor?

Posted in Estate Planning, General Interest, Health / Medical
Today, in Ontario, over 1,500 people are on the waiting list for a life-saving organ transplant. One of these individuals dies every three days. Despite the overwhelming need for organs and tissues, Canada has one of the lowest rates of organ donation in the world.  While many countries including, Spain, Italy, Austria and Belgium have adopted … Continue Reading

Gotta Serve Somebody…by E-mail

Posted in In the News, Litigation
As of January 1, 2015 the Rules of Civil Procedure (Ontario) have expanded to permit service of documents by e-mail. Specifically, Rule 16.01(4)(b)(iv) permits that any document that is not required to be served personally or by an alternative to personal service may be served on a party acting in person or on a person … Continue Reading

Missing on Purpose?

Posted in Estate & Trust, In the News
The year 2014 sadly witnessed the deaths of a number of well-known individuals, such as Robin Williams, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Casey Kasem, whose estates were chronicled by our blog throughout the year. It was also a year, according to this online report that was “chock-full” of celebrity death hoaxes, among them Miley Cyrus, Hugh Hefner … Continue Reading

A Plug for CanLII Connects

Posted in Continuing Legal Education, News & Events
The number of Canadian law blogs on has now reached almost 500. Since 2006, with an aim towards recognizing new or previously unrecognized blogs, the Canadian Law Blog Awards (the “Clawbies”), annually announces its blog awards on New Year’s Eve. A number of this year’s Clawbies recipients are worth checking out. Lawyers and other … Continue Reading

New year, new regulations – Changes to the Estate Administration Tax Act

Posted in Executors and Trustees
We have previously blogged about the proposed changes which had been announced for the Estate Administration Tax Act. While it was widely believed that the previously circulated draft would eventually become law, uncertainty still existed surrounding the proposed changes, most notable of which being when the new regulations would become effective. The uncertainties surrounding the … Continue Reading

Choosing Your Beneficiaries

Posted in Estate Planning, Litigation, Wills
Choosing one’s heirs (beneficiaries) is a challenging aspect of the overall estate planning process. For many, making decisions about the disposition of personal assets can be the most difficult, emotional and time-consuming. Some issues for consideration when choosing one’s heirs include: Precisely who to include as your heirs? (i.e. spouse, children, dependants, charities) Whether assets … Continue Reading

Helpful Hints for Estate Planning in 2015

Posted in Estate & Trust, Estate Planning, New Years Resolutions
Over the course of the past year, the Toronto Estate Law Blog discussed the considerations involved in proper estate planning. If your New Year’s resolutions include estate planning, the following hints may be useful in 2015: Keep up with Changing Laws. Starting tomorrow, new regulations come into force that deal with the Ontario Estate Administration … Continue Reading

Exclusive Jurisdiction Clauses

Posted in Litigation
If there is an “exclusive jurisdiction” clause in a trust settlement, may a beneficiary litigate in another jurisdiction? In a recent decision of the Privy Council (Crociani v Crociani [2014] UKPC 40), Lord Neuberger answered in the affirmative.  In Crociani, the Privy Council considers the question of whether the same test governing “exclusive jurisdiction” clauses in … Continue Reading

Spending & Giving during the Holidays

Posted in Charities, General Interest, In the News
Last week I blogged about the holiday charitable giving spirit. I subsequently came across an article that addressed Canadian spending patterns during the holidays, including the disparity in holiday spending among affluent and average-income Canadians. Expenses around this time of year included gift buying, travelling and, of course, giving to charity. The BMO Harris Private … Continue Reading

Tis the season … to have a conversation about your estate plan

Posted in Estate Planning
As estate litigators we see a fair number of family disagreements arising after the death of a loved one over the deceased’s financial assets and/or personal property. A death in the family can cause a great deal of stress for surviving family members. Uncertainty surrounding the deceased’s wishes only exacerbates this stress, leading to tension … Continue Reading