Make 2014 the Year You Commit to Getting Financially Fit and Healthy

Jane Blaufus | Posted 02.28.2014 | Canada Living
Jane Blaufus

This New Year as you make your resolutions, commit to making one that will get you healthy and fit -- financially. While setting personal resolutions have become second nature, the New Year should also be the time each of us sits down with family. Talk about what your financial goals are in 2014 and what you need to have in place to ensure that your family is protected and aware.

The "Marriage" of Estate and Family Law

Suzana Popovic-Montag | Posted 09.03.2013 | Canada Business
Suzana Popovic-Montag

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.

The Power of a Do-It-Yourself Will

Suzana Popovic-Montag | Posted 08.26.2013 | Canada Business
Suzana Popovic-Montag

Every year, many consumers create their own estate planning documents, such as wills and powers of attorney, using do it yourself kits. These kits can be found online or in shops across the country, ranging from free downloadable documents to significantly expensive ones.

What Snowbirds Should Know Before They Buy Down South

Suzana Popovic-Montag | Posted 08.17.2013 | Canada Business
Suzana Popovic-Montag

Those in the market for snowbird condominiums or other properties south of the border need to buy what it is they can afford and can make them happy, without their estate plans at the forefront of their mind. However, it's important not to be naïve in these cross-border property purchases, in order to ensure assets pass on in a meaningful way.

Estate Planning for Diverse Family Types

Suzana Popovic-Montag | Posted 08.14.2013 | Canada Business
Suzana Popovic-Montag

Increasingly, Canadians are finding happiness later in life with second spouses and second families. In these situations, professional advice may be desirable to balance the competing demands of providing for the first and second families in an estate plan. This has resulted in a host of creative solutions.

Using Technology to Plan Your Estate

Suzana Popovic-Montag | Posted 08.03.2013 | Canada Business
Suzana Popovic-Montag

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.

What Baby Boomers Should Know About Estate Planning

Suzana Popovic-Montag | Posted 07.23.2013 | Canada Business
Suzana Popovic-Montag

The baby boomer generation should be paying particular attention to their estate plans. It is a generation that is participating in a large generational transfer of wealth and it is a generation that has increasingly more time on its hands.

Taking Over the Taxes of the Deceased

Suzana Popovic-Montag | Posted 06.29.2013 | Canada Business
Suzana Popovic-Montag

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.

Executor to Someone's Estate? You Might Qualify for Compensation

Suzana Popovic-Montag | Posted 06.16.2013 | Canada Business
Suzana Popovic-Montag

When a person is an executor of another's estate, it is a lot of hard work. The task often puts the individual in an unpleasant position of conflict. In order to remunerate these individuals for the risks and efforts that they have undertaken, attorneys, executors and trustees may claim compensation for their work out of the assets which they administer.

Try This Alternative to Estate Litigation

Suzana Popovic-Montag | Posted 06.10.2013 | Canada Business
Suzana Popovic-Montag

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.

The 411 on Power of Attorney

Suzana Popovic-Montag | Posted 05.26.2013 | Canada
Suzana Popovic-Montag

A Power of Attorney is a written document in which authority is given to your Attorney to make decisions on your behalf. In other words, it is the app...

Are Powers of Attorney necessary for your Estate Plan?

Suzana Popovic-Montag | Posted 05.25.2013 | Canada Business
Suzana Popovic-Montag

Because of the importance of powers of attorney to the rights and quality of life of an individual who has become incapable, it is absolutely essential that they be kept up-to-date. A careful review of your powers of attorney should be undertaken every three to five years or after any material life events, such as a marriage or a change in health conditions.

Don't Delay, Make a Legal Will Today

Suzana Popovic-Montag | Posted 05.21.2013 | Canada Business
Suzana Popovic-Montag

Approximately one half of Canadians do not have a will. For those who do, many are in need of an update. While preparing a will is not a priority for many of us, the reality is that nobody lives forever. The need for valid, well-prepared wills has never been more pressing.

Keeping Your Will Up to Date With Your Life

Suzana Popovic-Montag | Posted 05.11.2013 | Canada Business
Suzana Popovic-Montag

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.

Don't Let the Cottage Tear the Family Apart

Suzana Popovic-Montag | Posted 04.27.2013 | Canada Business
Suzana Popovic-Montag

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.

The Many Ways You Can Be Disinherited

Suzana Popovic-Montag | Posted 03.31.2013 | Canada Business
Suzana Popovic-Montag

When most people hear that someone has been "disinherited," they usually think of someone who has been written out of someone else's will. While this certainly is the classic definition of disinheritance, it is not the only way that a person can be excluded from an estate.