Estate Planning

Executor, Trustee, And Attorney Compensation

Suzana Popovic-Montag | Posted 02.04.2016 | Canada Business
Suzana Popovic-Montag

When called upon to act as a personal representative, whether in the capacity of an attorney, executor, or trustee, the issue of compensation is often called into question. The basic starting point for executor or trustee compensation is the will or trust document.

A Survivor's Guide To The Sandwich Generation

Andrea Love | Posted 02.03.2016 | Canada Living
Andrea Love

According to Statistics Canada, the "sandwich generation" now includes more than two million Canadians -- or 28 per cent of all caregivers in Canada -- with the majority being women between 35 and 44 years old. This number is only expected to rise as Canada's population ages and the older generation is no longer capable of caring for themselves. That leaves us with a generation stuck with caring for their late-leaving adult children and their ailing parents at the same time. How do they cope?

The Process Of Locating The Heirs Of An Estate

Suzana Popovic-Montag | Posted 01.25.2016 | Canada Business
Suzana Popovic-Montag

As several of our previous entries address, the executor of an estate has many duties and obligations in the administration of a loved one's estate. Among these duties, is the obligation to locate all heirs who are entitled to share in the assets of the estate of the deceased.

Income Tax Obligations and Accounting Requirements

Suzana Popovic-Montag | Posted 01.08.2016 | Canada Business
Suzana Popovic-Montag

When taking on the role of estate trustee, there is no shortage of responsibilities and obligations. Along with other obligations described within our...

How To Protect Your Finances While Aging With Alzheimer's

AlzLIVE | Posted 01.04.2016 | Canada Living
AlzLIVE

It is deeply hurtful to even remotely consider that someone from your most trusted group of allies could be intending to take advantage of you when you are most vulnerable, but avoiding this issue only leaves you more vulnerable. Your best line of defence is to increase your awareness on some of the more typical financial threats.

The Roles And Responsibilities Of An Estate Executor

Suzana Popovic-Montag | Posted 12.24.2015 | Canada Business
Suzana Popovic-Montag

Being named as the executor within an individual's last will and testament is sometimes perceived as an honour. However, it is important to understand that acting as the executor of an estate comes with significant responsibility.

Why Dying In Canada Is Different Today

Andrea Love | Posted 12.17.2015 | Canada Living
Andrea Love

Dying in Canada has become more personalized -- but more complicated than ever below. But it doesn't have to be this difficult.

Staying On Top Of Your Finances After An Alzheimer's Diagnosis

AlzLIVE | Posted 12.16.2015 | Canada Living
AlzLIVE

You may be inclined to ignore your finances while dealing with your diagnosis of Alzheimer's, but it is important to begin assessing any financial vulnerabilities you may have. This is not the time to disengage from the management of your financial and legal affairs.

What To Consider When Choosing An Estate Trustee

Suzana Popovic-Montag | Posted 12.14.2015 | Canada Business
Suzana Popovic-Montag

The individual who is ultimately selected will be charged with administering your estate upon your death and, as a result, it is crucial that he or she is not only capable of doing so, but that the person selected is someone whom you can trust to uphold your final wishes to the best of his or her abilities.

Key Documents, Decisions And Directions In Estate Planning

AlzLIVE | Posted 12.08.2015 | Canada Living
AlzLIVE

One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself and those who care most about you is the selection of individuals who are capable of carrying out your wishes. This requires taking the time to fully inform these people about your wishes.

The Intersection Between Family And Estate Law

Suzana Popovic-Montag | Posted 11.17.2015 | Canada Business
Suzana Popovic-Montag

With nearly half of all marriages ending in divorce, second marriages and blended families continue to become increasingly common. As a result, estate lawyers are more frequently encountering complex family dynamics and legal issues that involve family law.

The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Do-It-Yourself Will Kits

Suzana Popovic-Montag | Posted 10.30.2015 | Canada Business
Suzana Popovic-Montag

Every year, thousands of consumers create their own wills, powers of attorney, and other estate planning documents using kits which are available either on the internet or in retail locations. With a more sophisticated population and increasing numbers of people on the internet, there has been a proliferation of products available in recent years.

Things for Baby Boomers to Consider When Estate Planning

Suzana Popovic-Montag | Posted 10.20.2015 | Canada Business
Suzana Popovic-Montag

Baby boomers are in a unique position with respect to the potential to be leaving behind estates of significant value. As a result of the previous generation's frugal lifestyles, which were often heavily focused on saving, they are set to reap the benefits in the near future.

How Trust Companies Can Regain Canadians' Trust

Andrea Love | Posted 10.08.2015 | Canada Business
Andrea Love

The challenge we face is, in the context of this unprecedented shift of multi-generational wealth, the trust industry -- those charged with stewarding this process -- has largely lost the public's confidence. Now more than ever, our aging population needs dedicated independent trust companies that are focused on helping families through difficult points in their lives, but we need to put the trust back in the industry.

The Risks and Rewards of Using Multiple Wills

Suzana Popovic-Montag | Posted 10.02.2015 | Canada Business
Suzana Popovic-Montag

People have always sought out new and innovative ways to reduce or avoid taxes. In estate planning, some of the more traditional methods have included designating a beneficiary directly in an insurance policy or naming a joint account holder with a right of survivorship. Multiple wills are another effective technique and as a result, have become increasingly popular over the last decade.

Understanding the Gift of Joint Ownership

Suzana Popovic-Montag | Posted 09.17.2015 | Canada Business
Suzana Popovic-Montag

One of the more commonly used estate planning tools to avoid or reduce Estate Administration Tax is joint ownership or a joint bank account. When two people own an asset jointly, and one owner dies, the remaining joint owner takes ownership of the entire asset by right of survivorship, thus causing the asset to pass entirely outside of the estate of the deceased person.

How to Get Serious About Estate Planning

Wade Stayzer | Posted 09.03.2015 | Canada Business
Wade Stayzer

As morbid as it may seem, death is inevitable and preparing for our last day of life is a key component in a solid financial plan. Without proper planning, death can trigger a significant income tax bill which can cause significant financial stress for already devastated loved ones left behind.

If You're in a Second Marriage, You May Need to Revisit Estate Planning

Suzana Popovic-Montag | Posted 08.20.2015 | Canada Business
Suzana Popovic-Montag

When it comes to second marriages and estate planning, there are many issues to which a will-maker must be alert. Keep in mind that personal family dynamics play an important role in determining what estate plan will work best for you.

What Happens When a Will Is Challenged? Part 2

Suzana Popovic-Montag | Posted 07.07.2015 | Canada Business
Suzana Popovic-Montag

Bringing and defending will challenges is at the core of an estate litigation practice. As discussed in Part I of this series, will challenges are oft...

What Happens When a Will Is Challenged?

Suzana Popovic-Montag | Posted 06.02.2015 | Canada Business
Suzana Popovic-Montag

With an aging Canadian population, will challenges are becoming increasingly common. Historically, we typically saw larger estates becoming the subject of such challenges. More and more, however, we are now seeing even modest estates becoming the subject of such challenges.

What to Do if You're Named an Executor of Someone's Estate

Coreen T. Sol, CFA | Posted 05.01.2015 | Canada Business
Coreen T. Sol, CFA

If you have been named as an executor, there are important considerations to be aware of and you may wish to take a look at what the responsibilities are prior to accepting the role.

Picking the Right Estate Trustee Today Saves You Trouble Later

Suzana Popovic-Montag | Posted 06.08.2015 | Canada Business
Suzana Popovic-Montag

Removing an estate trustee from office can be an onerous task. It requires the involvement of a court, even if it is not contested. This can be costly, time-consuming, and disruptive to the administration of an estate and to the beneficiaries. It is best to avoid this process altogether by picking the right person for the job at the planning stage.

Why You Should Add Organ Donation to Your Estate Plan

Suzana Popovic-Montag | Posted 05.22.2015 | Canada Living
Suzana Popovic-Montag

Today, in Ontario, over 1,500 people are on the waiting list for a life-saving organ transplant. Yet, despite the apparent and overwhelming need for organs and tissues, Canada has one of the lowest rates of organ donation in the world.

How This Radical Court Ruling Invalidated a Father's Racial Bias

Peter Spiro | Posted 04.15.2015 | Canada Politics
Peter Spiro

The deceased Mr. Spence left his entire estate of $400,000 to his daughter Donna. He cut his daughter Verolin out of his will, reputedly because of racial bias. Madam Justice Gilmore ruled that this offended public policy, and was therefore rendered void. Once there is no will, the law decrees that each child of the deceased receives an equal share of the estate.

How Lawyers Should Approach Issues of Mental Capacity

Suzana Popovic-Montag | Posted 03.26.2015 | Canada Business
Suzana Popovic-Montag

An advisable way to approach extracting issues of capacity with an elderly individual is through delicate conversation. It is important to avoid offending clients who may be uncomfortable, but it can be crucial to proper estate planning. Sometimes, apparent symptoms of incapacity can in fact result from cultural differences between client and lawyer.