Toronto Estate Law Blog

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Category Archives: In the News

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Bringing Awareness to Death

Posted in Estate Planning, In the News
I recently came across two vastly different approaches with respect  to increasing awareness around death.  As this is an obvious foray into estates, these activities clearly shed light on estate planning and end of life decisions. Death Dinners As the title indicates, a website called Let’s Have Dinner and Talk About Death invites individuals to … Continue Reading

The Giving Pledge

Posted in Charities, Estate Planning, In the News
Warren Buffet, Bill and Melinda Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Elon Musk are undisputedly household names known throughout the world for their cunning business knowledge, entrepreneurship, and of course their vast fortune.  However, an additional trait shared amongst them all is their charitable spirit.  This is best exemplified through The Giving Pledge, which is a commitment … Continue Reading

Facilitating Access to Palliative Care

Posted in Elder Law, In the News
Certain elder law issues, such as estate planning and assisted death, are often the focus of discussions with respect to individuals who are terminally ill.  However, despite its impact on end-of-life quality, the issue of accessibility of palliative care continues to be a secondary consideration that receives relatively little attention. Gaining access to high-quality palliative … Continue Reading

The Importance of Prudent Funeral Planning

Posted in Funerals, In the News
Teenager Rueshad Grant was tragically killed at last year’s Toronto Caribbean Festival (Caribana) when he fell underneath the wheels of a float. Funeral costs are typically paid out of the Estate but when the deceased is a teenager, their assets are usually insufficient to cover the costs of a funeral.  Under these circumstances, the family … Continue Reading

The UK Inheritance Tax Debate

Posted in Estate & Trust, In the News
When a resident of the United Kingdom dies, his or her estate may be depleted by the payment of significant levels of inheritance tax.  Though not unique to the UK, inheritance tax is a subject of concern for a great proportion of the British population who expect to receive assets left to them by aging … Continue Reading

Judge Decides the Sale of the L.A. Clippers

Posted in Capacity, Executors and Trustees, General Interest, In the News, Litigation, Trustees, Uncategorized
In the latest high profile trust dispute to hit the courts, the Los Angeles County Superior Court has ruled in favour of Rochelle “Shelley” Sterling thereby giving her the authority to sell the Los Angeles Clippers to Steve Ballmer for a ground breaking amount of $2 billion dollars on July 28, 2014. Our in-house sports … Continue Reading

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