Estates

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How To Deal With Digital Assets In Estate Planning

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.
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The Risks and Rewards of Using Multiple Wills

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.
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The "Marriage" of Estate and Family Law

The shift: divorce and other complicated family dynamics mean closer ties between the two worlds of family law and estate law. As family dynamics shift away from the previous norm of a single traditional marriage and nuclear family, and toward increasing numbers of second and subsequent marriages, blended families, and common law relationships, the need for estate planning becomes a more pressing and complex concern.
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Using Technology to Plan Your Estate

With social media, electronic banking and online investing, our lives are becoming increasingly digital. Important documents containing crucial information, such as financial statements and tax receipts, are being stored in on-line databases, creating elements of a virtual estate. With this in mind, technology is playing a bigger and bigger role in estate planning.
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Taking Over the Taxes of the Deceased

On an individual's death, a new taxpayer is created. The estate trustee is responsible for tax on income earned by the individual up to the date of death. All too often, an estate trustee will begin administering the deceased's assets, only to realize that the deceased had failed to properly file and pay taxes during the later years of his or her life.

Try This Alternative to Estate Litigation

Estate litigation can be costly, both financially and emotionally. Thankfully, there is another avenue besides the courtroom that can serve to reduce both types of stress: alternative dispute resolution. Alternative dispute resolution mechanisms allow for disputes to be dealt with outside of the courtroom and are often an attractive means for litigants wishing to push toward settlement.
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Keeping Your Will Up to Date With Your Life

The modern family often incorporates second and third marriages, step-children, half-children and common law spouses. We often recommend to our clients that they create a 'global' estate plan, incorporating other agreements such as cohabitation agreements, marriage contracts and separation agreements. Having these documents well-synced to wills and powers of attorneys can go a long way in sorting things out when plans go awry.
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Don't Let the Cottage Tear the Family Apart

Any approach to dealing with an emotionally charged asset such as the family cottage may lead to disagreements. By taking appropriate steps, communicating with one another, finding creative solutions, and by working together as a family, the cottage can continue to be the source of cherished memories for future generations.