Toronto Estate Law Blog

Toronto Estate Law Blog

1-866-497-0903Call now for a consultation

Category Archives: TOPICS

Subscribe to TOPICS RSS Feed

Dead Give Away: Reforms to the Tax Treatment of Charitable Bequests

Posted in Charities, Estate & Trust, Estate Planning
Individuals often include charitable bequests in their estate planning.  Such bequests are typically structured as: Gifts by one’s Will, where the testator directs his or her estate trustees to make a specific charitable gift on his or her behalf (the “Will Gift”); Gift by the testator’s estate where a gift is made at the discretion … Continue Reading

Are Two Wills Better than One?

Posted in Wills
It is said that two heads are better than one, except when those two heads contradict one another, leading to problems.  The same could be said about multiple wills. The use of multiple wills has become a popular technique in Ontario as a means of reducing estate administration taxes which are payable when an estate … Continue Reading

The OBA’s Brown Bag Lunch

Posted in News & Events
When blogging, I am always searching for new ideas and new subjects to write about.  There is one place that is consistently a gold mine for new and interesting topics in the estates world.  The OBA’s Brown Bag Lunch is a great place to fill your notebook and fill your stomach at the same time, … Continue Reading

Facebook and Apple to Pay for Female Employees to Freeze Eggs – Some Estate Planning Considerations

Posted in Estate Planning, Wills
Within the recent past, the success rates and popularity of conceiving a child through Assisted Reproductive Technologies (“ART”) have increased significantly. Technological advances now make it possible for genetic materials to be frozen and preserved for decades, before being thawed for use in the conception of children. Both Apple and Facebook have recently announced that … Continue Reading

Be Careful What You Wish For

Posted in Health / Medical
What happens when someone changes his or her mind about medical care after preparing a power of attorney?  A recent article in the Law Times by Judy van Rhijn highlights some concerns surrounding this issue. In Ontario, in most circumstances, doctors must obtain consent from a patient before administering treatment.  When the patient is not … Continue Reading

End-of-life Wishes Should Be Communicated Early

Posted in Capacity, Elder Law, Power of Attorney
The controversial topic of life support and when to “pull the plug” is likely to ignite debate wherever it is raised. The issue involves aspects of morality, religion, science, and, of course, law. This complicated philosophical enquiry can make decisions very difficult to make, especially at a time when emotions are high. Whether or not … Continue Reading

Proposed Law Would Assist Estate Trustees

Posted in Executors and Trustees
Guelph’s MP, and former Estate lawyer, Frank Valeriote, recently tabled Bill C-247, the Service Canada Mandate Expansion Act (the “Bill”).  If enacted the Bill would require the Minister of Employment and Social Development to establish Service Canada as the single point of contact for the Government of Canada in respect of all matters relating to the … Continue Reading

Art & Taxes

Posted in Estate Planning, In the News
Almost everyone is required to pay some sort of tax.  As such, it seems logical to set up a method to allow as many people as possible to pay their taxes.  Where does it make more sense than in Italy, the land of Michelangelo and Raphael, to allow people to use art to pay tax. … Continue Reading

Simplified procedures for small estates?

Posted in Estate Planning, Executors and Trustees, General Interest
When a person dies in Ontario and leaves a Will, his or her named Estate Trustees often need to obtain a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee (previously known as “probate”) in order to deal with the Estate’s assets. The Certificate serves as: proof of the deceased’s death; authentication of the propounded Will as the … Continue Reading

Aging population could have its benefits

Posted in Elder Law, In the News
Suzana Popovic-Montag has previously blogged about the impact of Canada’s aging population on the healthcare system, the prison system, and various industries, such as farming.  The aging workforce has the potential to leave jobs unfilled, while many believe that our health care system, in its current state, does not have the capacity to deal with … Continue Reading

Communicating Wishes for your Digital Property

Posted in Estate Planning
The Toronto Estate Law Blog has covered the topic of digital assets here and here, as well as electronic registries here. This subject is getting increased attention with the clear shift to reliance on digital documents, assets and accounts. An interesting aspect relating to the management and ownership of digital property is the designation of … Continue Reading

New Smartphone App to Assist with Digital Estate Planning

Posted in Estate Planning
Previous blog entries by Ian Hull and Suzana Popovic-Montag have featured information about the increasing relevance of digital assets with respect to estate planning. Online programs such as Google Inactive Account Manager, Legacy Locker, and Estate Map, offer services including the storage of electronic passwords, post-death management of accounts, and delivery to a “digital estate … Continue Reading

Estate Planning for Art Collectors

Posted in Estate Planning
Art collectors spend years investing significant time, energy and resources in building their collections. It seems logical that every collector would have an estate plan outlining what will happen with his or her collection upon his or her death. However, far too often collectors fail consider and/or properly plan for their collections. The costs associated … Continue Reading

Obituaries, Funerals, and Grave Markers

Posted in Funerals, In the News
The death of Larry Frazer has been in the news this past week.  His memorial had been booked for September 29th at the St. Patrick Parish Centre hall, when the family received a phone call indicating that the Church had cancelled the booking on the basis of the late Mr. Frazer’s obituary photograph, which depicted … Continue Reading

Playing by the Rules

Posted in Ethical Issues
The Law Society of Upper Canada’s amendments to the Rules of Professional Conduct for lawyers and paralegals came into effect on October 1, 2014.  The new Rules are based on the Model Code of Professional Conduct proposed by the Federation of Law Societies of Canada.  The Law Society’s Professional Regulation Committee approved the amended Rules … Continue Reading

Estate Planning for Artists

Posted in Estate Planning
                               “[A]rtists leave two bodies, their own, and a body of work.”                                                                                              —Harriet Shorr, Artist It is not unusual for an artist to produce hundreds of works of art over his or her lifetime. In addition to the average estate planning concerns, artists must also consider and plan for what will happen with … Continue Reading

Reducing Estate Administration Tax

Posted in Beneficiary Designations, Estate & Trust, Executors and Trustees, News & Events
Well known American thriller author Tom Clancy, known for novels such as The Hunt for Red October, passed away on October 1, 2013 at the age of 66.  Clancy was married to his first wife, with whom he had four children – Michelle, Christine, Kathleen and Thomas, until 1999.  After divorcing his first wife, Clancy … Continue Reading

Giving to People Receiving ODSP

Posted in Estate & Trust
The Ontario Disability Support Program, or ODSP, provides income support to Ontarians with disabilities and assistance with finding work or starting a business.  Financial eligibility for ODSP depends both on the applicant’s level of income, and a consideration of his or her assets.  The purpose of these restrictions on income and on assets is to … Continue Reading