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Category Archives: In the News

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Parents are not having Financial Planning Discussions with their Children Early Enough

Posted in Estate Planning, General Interest, In the News
A recent study from an American investment firm notes some surprising revelations about the conversations parents are having with their adult children about financial planning. Approximately 40% of parents have not discussed issues such as estate planning with their children, nor have they discussed how they may fund possible health needs in old age.  The … Continue Reading

Seniors Remain Optimistic About Golden Years

Posted in Elder Law, In the News
The average Canadian will struggle to fund retirement.  However, despite increasing longevity, resulting in greater costs associated with personal care later in life, a recent study suggests that a significant majority of the aging population is optimistic that they will continue to benefit from a high quality of life in old age.  Survey results indicate … Continue Reading

Canadian Alzheimer’s Study Finds Gene That Delays Onset of Alzheimer’s

Posted in Capacity, In the News
An exciting recent Canadian study has found a genetic variation that delays the onset of Alzheimer’s by as much as four years. The study, undertaken by Judes Poirier and his team at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute and McGill University in Montreal, found a variant of a cholesterol-regulating gene which can delay the onset … Continue Reading

Selling the Los Angeles Clippers

Posted in In the News, Trustees
There has been much in the news lately surrounding the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers stemming from the remarks made by the owner, Donald Sterling.  However, in the estates and trusts world, interest has revolved around the fact that the Clippers is owned by the Sterling Family Trust (the “Trust“) and the implications this … Continue Reading

The Proposed Made-In-Ontario Pension Plan

Posted in In the News, Pension Benefits, Uncategorized
Election season in Ontario has resulted in a proposal for a province wide pension plan to supplement the Canada Pension Plan (“CPP”). The Liberals’ proposal for The Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (“ORPP”) involves employee contributions of 1.9% of their annual income up to $90,000.00 a year, which will be matched by their employers.   It is … Continue Reading

Crime-Fighting Seniors

Posted in Elder Law, In the News
When seniors are mentioned in an article about criminal activity, it is most often because they have been targeted as victims of a crime. In the past week, there have been reports of a thief who has been targeting elderly women in Ottawa.  One victim, aged 87 years old, broke her arm when she was … Continue Reading


Posted in In the News, Wills
Wal-Mart has enhanced its status as a destination for one-stop shopping with the recent addition of personalized wills, available at a cost of $99.  Three Wal-Mart locations in the Greater Toronto Area now offer estate planning services through the law firm of Axess Law. Wal-Mart and other retailers had previously sold will-drafting kits, which allow … Continue Reading

Mickey Rooney’s Legacy

Posted in Elder Law, In the News, Litigation
Most readers will already be aware that Mickey Rooney died on April 6, 2014, at the age of 93.  Last week, the late Mickey Rooney’s family appeared in court to dispute the ultimate disposition of Mr. Rooney’s remains. Mr. Rooney’s ex-wife, Jan Chamberlain, claims that Rooney would have wanted to be buried in a cemetery … Continue Reading

Toronto Lawyer Makes a Posthumous Argument for Assisted Suicide

Posted in Ethical Issues, In the News
A Toronto criminal lawyer suffering from ALS, a terminal, incurable disease, sent a letter to his friends and colleagues before he died arguing posthumously for assisted suicide.  Edward Hung, who travelled to Switzerland for assistance in ending his life, argued that Canada’s laws against assisted suicide are “unjust.” In his letter, titled Approaching Death, Mr. … Continue Reading

Law Society of England and Wales Accepts Sharia-Compliant Wills

Posted in Estate Planning, In the News, Wills
The Law Society of England and Wales recently published a practice direction with respect to the drafting of Sharia-compliant wills.  There are 2.7 million Muslims living in the United Kingdom, many who wish to obtain a Sharia-compliant will for religious purposes. If an individual living in England chooses to distribute his or her assets according … Continue Reading

Blood Testing: The New Crystal Ball for Dementia

Posted in Capacity, Estate Planning, General Interest, Health / Medical, In the News, Power of Attorney
Last week on our blog, Josh Eisen blogged about a death test which uses blood samples to identify people with higher short-term risk of dying.  There appears to be a pattern developing in the scientific community with regard to the use of blood tests as the new crystal ball for our fate. A new study … Continue Reading

Inaccessibility of Digital Assets

Posted in Estate Planning, In the News
Digital estate planning is becoming an increasingly common practice.  However, security measures of internet and technology corporations have the potential to disrupt the implementation of a testator’s plans. A recent news article tells the story of a woman named Anthea Grant, who purchased an iPad for use during two years of cancer treatment. The device … Continue Reading

Medically Assisted Suicide Heats Up At Federal Liberal Party Convention

Posted in Ethical Issues, Health / Medical, In the News
On February 23, 2014, the Federal Liberal party of Canada passed a resolution which aims to de-criminalize medically assisted suicide. The resolution was passed during the party’s biennial policy convention, echoing the Quebec legislatures current legislative reform proposals and foreshadowing the Supreme Court of Canada’s vow to revisit the controversial issue for the first time … Continue Reading

FATCA: A Global Wealth Shift:

Posted in Estate Planning, In the News
This month, the Canadian government entered into an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with the U.S. regarding compliance with the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). This IGA will require financial institutions in Canada to begin to report to the CRA, which will subsequently report to the IRS in the U.S. starting in July of 2014 regarding … Continue Reading

A Better Way of Dividing Estate Assets?

Posted in In the News
When dividing estate assets that are easily divisible between the deceased’s survivors, equal division is relatively simple.  However, when dealing with indivisible items that only one party can receive, distributing assets equally becomes more complicated, with the potential to give rise to disputes and subsequent litigation. A recent paper by professors at Wilfrid Laurier University … Continue Reading

A Smorgasbord of Technology

Posted in General Interest, In the News
We continue to see the interconnection between estates and technology.  I recently came across two articles, both from the west coast, which further advance this relationship. Crowdsourcing in California California is in the process of amending their probate code, and has asked individual citizens for their comments.  However, the manner in which the State is … Continue Reading

The Expert Opinion

Posted in In the News, Litigation
In the field of Estate litigation, we often rely on expert opinion with respect to various issues including mental capacity, and the authenticity of handwriting.  Although not an Estates case, the recent 2014 Ontario Superior Court of Justice decision in Moore v. Getahun, provides important clarification regarding the review of expert reports by counsel. At … Continue Reading

Out of this World Estate Planning

Posted in In the News, Uncategorized
Mars One, is a not-for-profit foundation planning to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars. As described on the Mars One website, the goal is to train human crews for life on Mars, and begin sending crews of people every two years starting in 2024. Mars One launched its Astronaut Selection Program in April 2013 … Continue Reading