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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.
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“Let him who desires peace prepare for war.” Who would have thought that this quote by Flavius Vegetius Renatus could be relevant within the context of family estate administration? For mo...
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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.
Amendments to the Income Tax Act have been made that incentivize planned charitable giving. Prior to 2016, gifts to registered charitable organizations made by will received tax credits that could only be used in the year of the testator's death or carried back to the preceding year.
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It has been estimated that $750 billion will be inherited in the next decade by the Baby Boomer Generation. Within those same ten years, the Boomer Generation will also approach retirement age and the...
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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.
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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.
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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.
A pet can be a very important part of many peoples' lives, often treated like a member of the family. Particularly for elderly people, who may otherwise spend much time alone, a pet, whether a dog, cat, fish, or reptile, is a companion, rather than a mere asset, for whom it is extremely important to make provision.
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One scenario commonly encountered is the situation in which an individual dies while negotiating a separation agreement with their spouse, or in the midst of divorce proceedings. While a divorce order will void specific bequests to a spouse, merely initiating negotiations or proceedings may not.
When appointing an attorney for property or personal care, it may be wise to request that they obtain legal advice with respect to its use to the grantor's benefit, when effective. Legal advice may come at a cost, but that expense is miniscule in comparison to litigation that may be caused by the misuse or abuse of a power of attorney, including a contested application to pass accounts.
Disinheritance is a profound element of an estate plan. It can be triggered by a single, specific event, or result from the lifelong flaws of a relationship. For example, a parent may decide to remove one child as a residuary beneficiary under his or her will because of a heated dispute and subsequent estrangement.
After the death of a family member, it becomes much more difficult to manage relationships, especially when it is the family matriarch or patriarch, the "glue" that has held the family together, who passes away. Sometimes an individual will plan on creating an estate plan "someday." Neglecting the need for an estate plan can result in unmanaged family dysfunction, which is likely to lead to disputes that end up in court.