Toronto Estate Law Blog

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Category Archives: TOPICS

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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

Divided Success or “Loser” Should Pay

Posted in Continuing Legal Education, Estate & Trust, General Interest, Litigation
An interesting costs decision was recently rendered by the Honourable Justice Leitch in Brown, Dale and Shackleton v. Rigsby and Shackleton. This decision arose from a dispute between the children of the late Blanch Shackleton.  The Respondents held the power of attorney for their late mother and they were also appointed as the estate trustees… Continue Reading

Executor and Trustee Compensation

Posted in Executors and Trustees, Litigation
Executors and trustees are entitled to compensation for their efforts; however, the quantum of such compensation can often become a contentious issue where the beneficiaries perceive the amount claimed by the executor or trustee to be excessive. If the Will granting the executor his or her authority does not expressly outline the extent of the compensation claimable… Continue Reading

A Coach’s Legacy

Posted in General Interest, In the News, Wills
Coach Dean Smith of National Collegiate Athletic Association basketball fame passed away on February 7, 2015.  The coach of such superstars as Michael Jordan will be remembered for 36 seasons with the University of North Carolina. Pursuant to Coach Smith’s Last Will and Testament, each varsity letterman who played for him was gifted the sum… Continue Reading

$99 Wills – Are They Worth It?

Posted in Estate & Trust, Estate Planning, Wills
In April of last year, Suzana Popovic-Montag wrote a blog about Axess Law (“Axess”), which opened up shop providing legal services, including will drafting, in three Greater Toronto Area Walmart stores. Since then, Axess has expanded its practice, attracting attention from customers, the legal media and other practitioners. Not only have there been articles published on… Continue Reading

Inheritance Tax Debates Continue

Posted in Estate Planning, In the News
President Obama has recently revealed plans to increase inheritance taxes payable by Americans with high-value estates.  His proposal increases the tax rate applied to estates of sizes greater than $5,430,000.00 from 40% to 68% of the amount over the threshold.  If implemented, this increased tax rate will make American estates the highest taxed in the… Continue Reading

Contestation of Claims Against an Estate

Posted in Litigation
Where an estate trustee becomes aware of a potential claim against the estate, but no claim has yet been commenced, it can be difficult to decide how to proceed.  Sections 44 and 45 of the Estates Act contain a seldom used procedure that may be of some assistance to estate trustees in this situation. Under… Continue Reading

The Two Types of Domicile

Posted in Estate Planning, Litigation
Through the use of modern technology and communication, the world is shrinking every day. We are seeing an influx of foreign residents living and owning property situated in Canada and the reverse is also common. For the purposes of estate planning and administration, the domicile of Canadians living or owning assets in other jurisdictions is… Continue Reading

More on Rebutting The Presumption of Resulting Trust

Posted in Estate & Trust, Estate Planning, Executors and Trustees, Litigation, TOPICS, Trustees, Wills
In Mroz v. Mroz, 2015 ONCA 171 (Ont. C.A.), the Court of Appeal returned to the issue of rebutting the presumption of resulting trust that arises upon a gratuitous transfer from the owner of the property to another or into joint tenancy with another. Here, the testatrix transferred her home to one child in joint… Continue Reading

Alzheimer’s Disease: Can Ultrasound Technology Restore Memory?

Posted in Capacity, General Interest, In the News
I recently came across an article published in the Globe and Mail titled, Ultrasound shows new promise as Alzheimer’s treatment. The article describes how scientist are using ultrasound technology to break apart the neurotoxic amyloid plaques that typically result in memory loss and cognitive decline in those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. While still in the… Continue Reading

Yahoo Japan & End of Life Digital Planning

Posted in Beneficiary Designations, Estate Planning, General Interest, In the News
In today’s society, not only are individuals amassing vast digital assets, but they are also increasingly present on social media.  More than ever, when planning your estate it is important to consider what happens to digital assets and your social presence when you pass away.  The importance of these questions have been addressed prior on… Continue Reading