Toronto Estate Law Blog

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Category Archives: Estate & Trust

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Secret and Half-Secret Trusts

Posted in Estate & Trust, Trustees, Wills
On occasion, a testator may wish to keep the true beneficiary of a trust hidden from public scrutiny. Either a secret or half-secret trust may be created for this purpose. A secret trust is derived from 3 essential principles, namely: 1. the intention of the testator provides for a secret beneficiary with a legacy (which… Continue Reading

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

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

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

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

$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

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

Inheritance Expectations

Posted in Estate & Trust, Litigation, Wills
Last week I blogged about the anticipated transfer of wealth to the Millennial generation.  While the Millennials are expected to inherit in the next few decades, the Baby Boomers have already inherited and continue to inherit their parent’s fortunes. However, some may be quite disappointed when the waiting comes to an end. A Maclean’s article… Continue Reading

Insurance Policy Proceeds and Changes to the Estate Administration Tax Act

Posted in Estate & Trust, Executors and Trustees, General Interest
On February 27, 2015, I chaired a workshop titled, The Estate Administration Tax Act, 1998: New Reporting Requirements, which was provided as part of the LSUC’s Continuing Professional Development. As part of this workshop, our speakers, among other things, canvassed the various issues and concerns raised in relation to the introduction of the new Regulation,… Continue Reading

Equestrian Estoppel

Posted in Estate & Trust
The doctrine of proprietary estoppel was recently revisited by the British Columbia Court of Appeal in Sabey v. Rommel. Mr. Sabey had been interested in learning the sport of dressage, a sort of “horse ballet”, since he was young.  He was given an opportunity to work and study the sport on a farm belonging to… Continue Reading

Back From the Dead

Posted in Estate & Trust, In the News, Pets
Earlier this month, a cat living in Tampa, Florida was hit by a car.  Unfortunately, collisions between pets and motor vehicles are not in themselves uncommon.  What is unique about this particular case is that Bart the cat, who was declared dead and buried on January 16, 2015, emerged from his grave five days later,… 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

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