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Category Archives: In the News

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No Monkeying Around Here!

Posted in General Interest, In the News, Pets
Our blog has covered the topic of pets on a number of occasions, most recently the extravagant tale of Bella Mia Bolasny, a pampered Maltese who is set to inherit from her wealthy owner, or “mother”, Rose Ann Bolasny. There’s no question that pets become a part of the family, but is considering them children [&hellip… Continue Reading

Fundamental Changes to Assisted Suicide in Canada: Carter v. Canada, 2015 SCC 5

Posted in Estate Planning, In the News
The Supreme Court of Canada has unanimously struck down s. 241(b) of the Criminal Code, which imposes a legal ban on doctor-assisted suicide in Canada. On February 6, 2015, the SCC released its decision in Carter v. Canada, finding that doctors should be allowed to assist patients hasten death in certain circumstances; namely, situations in which [&hellip… Continue Reading

Intolerance for Intolerance

Posted in In the News, Wills
A recent decision of the Superior Court of Justice has made been making headlines.  In Spence v. BMO Trust Company, the Court was faced with the challenging question of whether or not to set aside a will based on a finding that the deceased had disinherited his daughter for racist reasons. In the Spence case, [&hellip… Continue Reading

Strange Inheritance Show Draws Interest

Posted in Beneficiary Designations, In the News
Back in August I blogged about a television series entitled Celebrity Legacies which follows celebrities’ fortunes upon  their death. The show continues to expose estates of the rich and famous, with upcoming shows that include Jim Morrison, Whitney Houston and Marilyn Monroe. It seems public interest in the topic has yet to waver.  A new [&hellip… Continue Reading

Moore v. Getahun 2015 ONCA 55: Appropriate Communication Between Counsel and Experts

Posted in General Interest, In the News, Litigation
The highly anticipated Court of Appeal decision in Moore v. Getahun was finally released on January 29, 2015.  Moore v. Getahun is an important appellate decision that dealt with the preparation and use of expert reports in the context of civil litigation. To make a long story short, the Court of Appeal has rejected the [&hellip… 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, [&hellip… Continue Reading

Ultra High Net Worth Individuals Plan for the Future

Posted in Estate Planning, In the News
Wealth-X and NFP’s Family Wealth Transfers Report looked at when the world’s ultra high net worth individuals are expected to pass along their wealth in upcoming years and how much would be transferred. Ultra high net worth individuals are defined as those with assets worth at least US$30 million. The Report settles on US$16 trillion [&hellip… Continue Reading

Gotta Serve Somebody…by E-mail

Posted in In the News, Litigation
As of January 1, 2015 the Rules of Civil Procedure (Ontario) have expanded to permit service of documents by e-mail. Specifically, Rule 16.01(4)(b)(iv) permits that any document that is not required to be served personally or by an alternative to personal service may be served on a party acting in person or on a person [&hellip… 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 [&hellip… Continue Reading

Spending & Giving during the Holidays

Posted in Charities, General Interest, In the News
Last week I blogged about the holiday charitable giving spirit. I subsequently came across an article that addressed Canadian spending patterns during the holidays, including the disparity in holiday spending among affluent and average-income Canadians. Expenses around this time of year included gift buying, travelling and, of course, giving to charity. The BMO Harris Private [&hellip… Continue Reading

POA Abuse Affects All Ages

Posted in In the News, Power of Attorney
When one thinks about the abuse and misuse of Powers of Attorney (“POAs“), the scenario that typically comes to mind involves an older, incapable adult falling victim to younger neighbours or family members.  However, a recent story in the news highlights that POA abuse can affect individuals of all ages and levels of mental capacity. [&hellip… Continue Reading

Where in the World is Casey Kasem?

Posted in Executors and Trustees, Funerals, General Interest, In the News
The legendary Top 40 Countdown DJ, Casey Kasem, passed away in June, 2014 after a dramatic Hollywood style guardianship dispute between Casey’s wife, Jean Kasem, and his daughter from a prior relationship, Kerri Kasem.  The “dad-knapping” of this famous American from California to Seattle while he was still alive has already been covered by our [&hellip… Continue Reading

Family Tensions with Wills and Estates

Posted in Elder Law, In the News
This past Sunday’s episode of CBC’s Sunday Edition, which aired on November 23, featured a discussion on family feuds over wills and estates. The discussion focused around the reality and consequences of the inter-generational transfer of wealth between Canadians. The program’s guests, Jan Goddard and Laura Tamblyn Watts, highlighted some areas of note that can [&hellip… Continue Reading

Nova Scotia on the brink of making a bold move to increase rates of organ donation

Posted in Estate & Trust, Ethical Issues, Health / Medical, In the News, Uncategorized
Organ donation rates across Canada are dismal, really. Canada consistently ranks in the bottom half of industrialized countries where transplants are performed. Many factors affect donation and procurement rates. Spain, Portugal, France and Austria have high organ donation rates because these countries have adopted a ‘presumed consent’ framework whereby organs and tissues are essentially considered [&hellip… 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. [&hellip… 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 [&hellip… 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 [&hellip… Continue Reading

A Royal Inheritance

Posted in Beneficiary Designations, Estate Planning, In the News, Wills
We all remember when Diana, Princess of Wales died tragically in 1997, leaving the British public devastated, but also leaving estates practitioners perplexed. Diana left a Last Will and Testament in 1993 which was subsequently amended by Codicil in 1996. Diana instructed that her assets be held in trust for Prince William and Prince Harry [&hellip… Continue Reading

Disinheriting Killers: The Forfeiture Rule

Posted in Ethical Issues, General Interest, In the News, Uncategorized
A man in Lancashire, England was recently barred from receiving a benefit from the Estate of the person who was murdered at his hands.  Paul Chadwick stabbed his common law partner Lisa Clay and his son Joseph Chadwick to death in their home.  Paul admitted to two counts of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished [&hellip… Continue Reading

“Death Row Dinners” – Bad Taste?

Posted in In the News
A London “pop-up” restaurant planned to recreate and sell dinners requested by death row prisoners as their last meal.  However, criticism lead to the event’s possible cancellation before it was even held. According to the organizers, the event was to serve “a five course feast of their culinary twists on some of death rows [sic] [&hellip… Continue Reading
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