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The responsibilities of an estate trustee can be burdensome.
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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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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.
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.
When taking on the role of estate trustee, there is no shortage of responsibilities and obligations. Along with other obligations described within our previous article, the fiduciary duties of an esta...
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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.
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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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 often founded upon a lack of testamentary capacity at...
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.
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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.
Where a fiduciary duty has been breached, courts have several equitable remedies at their disposal. There are two purposes to these remedies. First, the remedy is designed to address fairness between the parties. Second, the remedy should serve to reinforce the public's confidence in the integrity of fiduciary relationships.
If an estate trustee is able to discover where the deceased stored important records, this is a great start to information-gathering. Difficulties can arise where the deceased has hidden assets away for safekeeping and failed to make these assets more accessible prior to death.