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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.
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.