April 21, 2019

Mediation in Estate Litigation

WHY USE MEDIATION INSTEAD OF LITIGATION?

Estate litigation is becoming increasingly popular in Ontario. Estate litigation relates to many different aspects of an estate including:

  • Whether or not the deceased had the capacity to make a Will;
  • Whether someone forced the deceased to make changes to their Will which benefited some beneficiaries and not others;
  • Whether those who acted under Power of Attorney before the deceased passed away dealt with the assets properly and had accounted for them;
  • Whether an executor is properly administering an estate;
  • Just about any other aspect of an estate that you can imagine. [Read more…]

Specific Gifts in a Will

G+G Estate Gift1IT IS IMPORTANT TO ENSURE YOU HAVE A GIFT CLAUSE IN YOUR WILL

If your Will leaves specific items to someone, you should ensure a gift clause says what is to happen if that person should predecease you. If you do not, there are some complicated rules within the area of Estate Law, that determine which heirs of the person the gift was intended for will receive the gift. [Read more…]

How Can I Pay Probate Tax?

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HOW CAN I PAY PROBATE TAX?

When a probate application is filed with the Superior Court in Ontario, Estate Administration Tax (Probate Tax) has to be paid on the value of the estate. Often there are no funds available to pay the Probate Tax as the deceased person’s money is in bank accounts that have been frozen because of the death. [Read more…]

What to do with the deceased’s cards?

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ESTATE ADMINISTRATION – WHAT TO DO WITH ALL OF THE DECEASED’S CARDS?

There are different requirements and recommendations relating to the various cards when someone dies – credit cards, health card, Social Insurance Card, etc. – once those cards are no longer needed.

To reduce the risk of identity theft (it does still occur after a person has died), cards should be physically destroyed. The Executor / Estate Trustee should also ensure the cards are returned to the issuer, so identity theft does not result in liability to the estate. Some issuers have forms that need to be submitted with the pieces of the card, although most do not. [Read more…]

Power of Attorney With Only One Witness

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POWER OF ATTORNEY FOR PROPERTY WITH ONLY ONE WITNESS

Prior to 1995 the law did not require 2 witnesses to a Power of Attorney for Property. The law was changed in 1995 to require 2 witnesses.

Provided a pre-1995 Power of Attorney for Property otherwise complies with the Rules which existed at the time, it is not invalid because it only has 1 witness.

CONTACT US

Feel free to contact us at any point for assistance or advice with respect to Estate Law, Estate Planning, Estate Administration or Estate Litigation. We may be reached at 705.435.4339 or contact us via email.

 

Holograph Will – Write your own Will

WRITING YOUR OWN WILL IS REFERRED TO AS A HOLOGRAPH WILL

Contrary to popular belief, an Ontario Will may be valid even if there are no witnesses to the Will.

If a Will is made entirely in the handwriting of the testator (person making the Will) and signed by that person, no witnesses are required to sign the Will. Such a Will is called a Holograph Will. [Read more…]

How Can I Pay Funeral Expenses?

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HOW CAN I PAY FUNERAL EXPENSES?

When a person dies, unless they have prepaid for their funeral, this expense will have to be paid by the Estate Trustee or Executor. Often there are no funds available to pay the funeral expenses as the deceased person’s money is in bank accounts that have been frozen because of the death.

Banks are permitted to release funds to pay funeral expenses and most Canadian Banks will readily provide the necessary funds for funeral expenses. If the bank will not, you may have to bring a ‘Motion’ to the Court to defer the payment of the funeral expenses until the Probate Document (called a ‘Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee’) has been issued by the court.

CONTACT US

Feel free to contact us at any point for assistance or advice with respect to Estate Law, Estate Planning, Estate Administration or Estate Litigation. We may be reached at 705.435.4339 or contact us via email.

Emotional Issues, Succession Planning and Family Businesses

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SUCCESSION PLANNING IN FAMILY BUSINESSES CAN BECOME BOGGED DOWN BY EMOTIONAL ENTANGLEMENT

Family is the key word in Family Business. The emotional and historical ties that bind the family together can positively and negatively impact the viability of the Family Business. One of the most effective ways to mitigate the negative aspects of emotional family entanglement is to actively, enthusiastically and diligently engage in the process of succession planning.
Most businesses, family owned or not, appreciate that succession planning requires the involvement of outside advisors. Unfortunately, the tendency is to narrow the advisor support to lawyers, accountants and business consultants. All are essential in order to deal with the hard issues of business development, maintenance, and legacy, but most are ill-suited to address the “soft issues” that permeate family businesses. [Read more…]

Mortgage Prepayment Penalty

MORTGAGE PREPAYMENT PENALTIES

If you have a closed mortgage and you sell your property (or refinance it) you will be charged a prepayment penalty. The amount of the penalty will be determined by the terms of your mortgage. In Ontario it is common for the prepayment penalty to be the greater of the interest rate differential and three months’ interest. [Read more…]

Using a Power of Attorney to Close a Real Estate Transaction

IT IS BECOMING MORE DIFFICULT TO USE A POA TO CLOSE A REAL ESTATE DEAL

People who are buying or selling a house may consider having a Power of Attorney so someone else can sign for them if they are not going to be around to sign the closing documents. The use of Powers of Attorney to close purchase, sale or mortgage transactions is becoming increasingly difficult. [Read more…]