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Cottages are hugely sentimental, and emotions often run high when heirs try to work out an ownership agreement amongst themselves.
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The responsibilities of an estate trustee can be burdensome.
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One in five Canadians who received a family inheritance say they experienced conflict with their siblings or other relatives over the division of assets.
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Preparing for death can be overwhelming for anyone. Nobody wants to consider a circumstance where they won't be here to care for their bundle of joy.
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Predatory marriages are unfortunately a growing phenomenon in Ontario. A predatory marriage occurs when a man or a woman enters into a relationship with an elderly individual exclusively for the purpose of gaining access to their estate.
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Estate planning is essential but often overlooked. Having a will drafted by a professional is important at every age because it allows you to distribute assets as you wish. It also serves as the cornerstone of your overall estate plan that includes choosing an executor and power of attorney documents for health care and property.
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Alternate dispute resolution ("ADR") has been on the rise as one of the primary ways to bring a dispute to resolution. Rather than spending significant time and money to litigate a case, the recent trend sees the increased use of ADR processes, such as mediation or arbitration, in the negotiation of a settlement outside of the courtroom.
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It can be interesting to see how certain aspects of estate law can work in conjunction with other sectors, and a basic understanding of the related issues is often important when assisting clients in developing or implementing an estate plan.
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I have seen firsthand how important life insurance is when a tragedy of losing one's spouse occurs. Thankfully, in our particular situation, we had conducted our annual review with our life insurance advisor a year before he died, made sure our life insurance coverage was still adequate and updated our wills with our lawyer.
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As a qualified trust and estate practitioner, I often receive an increased number of calls in January from people who are either updating their wills as part of their New Year's plans, or unfortunately, experienced the loss of a friend or family member.
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Disinheritance is defined in Black's Law Dictionary as "the act by which the owner of an estate deprives a person of the right to inherit the same, who would otherwise be his heir." As such, it can be extremely unsettling for a child to find out that they have been disinherited from their parent's estate.
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Our population is now the oldest it ever has been, with more people currently aged 65 and older than there are children under the age of 15. As with any significant demographic shift, this trend has significant implications for society at large, impacting health care, finance policy, infrastructure, family relationships, and legal issues.
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A primary consideration in the estate planning process should be the safe keeping of original planning documents (such as a will or a power of attorney). In Ontario, in order to obtain a grant of probate, the named estate trustee typically needs to provide the court with the original will, pursuant to the Estates Act.
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It is not uncommon for people to have more than one spouse or common-law partner in the course of their lives. Dealing with the estate of a spouse or the division of assets after a breakdown of marriage illustrates how building a common life as a married couple creates legal entitlements and obligations.
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My first husband passed away suddenly at the age of 39 and in 60 seconds, I became a widow with a 12-and-a-half-year-old daughter. I never intended to remarry but time and divine intervention had other plans for me. I remarried. This brought with it a myriad of important things we needed to discuss and consider.
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“Let him who desires peace prepare for war.” Who would have thought that this quote by Flavius Vegetius Renatus could be relevant within the context of family estate administration? For mo...
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The word probate, while still very frequently used by lawyers, may confuse people who do not have a legal background. Part of the confusion stems from the fact that the word probate is an old-fashioned term that can refer either to a legal process or to a particular kind of court order.
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Amendments to the Income Tax Act have been made that incentivize planned charitable giving. Prior to 2016, gifts to registered charitable organizations made by will received tax credits that could only be used in the year of the testator's death or carried back to the preceding year.
Occasionally, criminal law and estate law intersect. That intersection was particularly shocking in the high-profile cases of Helmuth Buxbaum and Peter Demeter. Both were convicted of arranging the murder of their wives and both tried to collect on life insurance policies in their respective wife's name.
Online social media, if unaddressed by an estate plan, can be the cause of litigation. A person's social media may include writings, pictures or other mementos. These items may hold sentimental value to that person's family members and friends in a way that may not have been contemplated by the deceased.
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It has been estimated that $750 billion will be inherited in the next decade by the Baby Boomer Generation. Within those same ten years, the Boomer Generation will also approach retirement age and the...
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It has been said that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. This statement rings true in the context of estate planning. A disorganized estate plan is ripe for expensive litigation that will deplete the assets of the estate. A Last Will and Testament is usually the cornerstone of an estate plan but can be disputed by disappointed beneficiaries.
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Will challenges can involve a great deal of time and expense, many times to the detriment of the estate. There are multiple grounds upon which a will challenge may be based; however, the two most commonly pleaded are lack of testamentary capacity and allegations that the testator was subject to undue influence.
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For many families a cottage is a place of special moments, milestones and memories. However, having a recreational property is not always fun and games -- there are also many costs and responsibilities that come along with ownership, especially when transferring the property to your children.
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As more Canadians are choosing to spend greater time abroad, it has become increasingly common for estates to include foreign-based assets upon death. From an estate law perspective, foreign-based assets can give rise to estate administration issues that are best addressed as part of an estate plan created in consultation with professional advisors.
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Make sure you have an up-to-date will in a place where your executor, spouse or kids can find it. If you die without a will you do not have a say in who your beneficiaries are or who administers your estate.
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In recent years, an aging population and the rise of non-traditional marriages have become issues that are increasingly relevant to estate planning considerations in Canada. As society shifts over time, it is important that estate planning methods and strategies are capable of adaptation to suit changing needs.
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When you make a will, you decide who is going to get your money in the event of your death. The hope is that you not only set up the next generation for financial success, but you also pass along positive financial values they can carry throughout their lifetime.
When it comes to acting as executor of an estate, there is no shortage of responsibilities that should be carefully reviewed prior to accepting the role. One of the most fundamental duties is that all estate related income tax documents are filed and in good standing.
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When discussing estate planning, we often focus on the more complex details, such as how to reduce tax liability for your estate, or whether to make use of multiple wills. However, before moving on to these more complicated topics, it is vital to start from the beginning and consider the basics as a first step in estate planning.
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Due to recent technological advancements, one's digital presence has become an important part of every day life. As a result, it is increasingly important to consider how this may impact traditional estate planning. With increasing frequency, individuals are creating complex lives online, which may include a social media presence, electronic banking, reward point balances, online investments, and many other possibilities.
Currently, Ontario has the highest estate tax in Canada. Although there was a recent attempt to address this issue by setting a cap on the amount payable at $3,250.00, the private member's bill that proposed this amendment was voted down at second reading on Sept. 24, 2015.