June 27, 2017

Beneficiary Rights …

If you are the beneficiary of an estate, what information should you expect from the executor / estate trustee and what happens from your perspective as a beneficiary?

First of all, in Ontario there is no requirement for a reading of the will as you see in American TV programs. Beneficiaries of an estate have the right to information concerning the estate and to receive their inheritance in a timely manner. The executor may or may not give you a copy of the will shortly after the death. [Read more…]

Trusts and Their Use in Estate Planning

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TRUSTS AND THEIR USE IN ESTATE PLANNING

Trusts are similar in function to a gift left to someone in a Will, except that Trusts can be set up either within a Will or while the “settlor” (the person creating the Trust) is still alive. A Trust is created using a written instrument that sets out the terms of the Trust. A Trust needs to appoint at least one trustee, who administers the Trust for the settlor according to the terms set out in the document. Most Trusts are set up to be “irrevocable” which means that once they are set up and the assets and/or money being held by the Trust is transferred to the trustee, the settlor cannot change their minds and get the assets or money back. [Read more…]

Estate Planning – Incorporating Your Business

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There are several aspects of incorporating your business that can become important when estate planning is considered. The structure of your business incorporation and your plans for your shares after your death should be considered as an estate planning tool. [Read more…]

Basecamp for Law Firm Project Collaboration

Basecamp is a web-based project management tool that was created in 2004 by 37 Signals.

Utilizing Basecamp in a legal setting offers many unique opportunities. The one that really excites us at Gilmore and Gilmore is the ability to create projects for each of our clients then invite them to participate. Now rather than having to go back and forth exchanging communications filling our inbox with updated versions of assorted documents, we are able to consolidate the work in one place. [Read more…]

The Importance of Power of Attorney for Property …

and why you need a Power of Attorney for Property.

A Power of Attorney for Property appoints one or more people to act for you (they are called Attorneys, even though they may not be lawyers) in relation to your various assets and liabilities. A Power of Attorney for Property may authorize the attorney to do anything you can do except make a Will. You can restrict the nature of the Power of Attorney, either with respect to its commencement and/or expiry date, or with respect to which of your assets and liabilities the attorney can deal with. [Read more…]

Accessing Bank Accounts of the Deceased

BANK OF CANADA – DORMANT ACCOUNTS

If a bank account is not used for a prescribed period of time, the dormant account is transferred to the Bank of Canada. If you want to determine whether or not there are dormant accounts in the name of the Deceased, you will need to contact the Bank of Canada so that they can inform you of the legal documentation they require to process your claim. [Read more…]

ODSP Eligibility and Assets

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The Ontario Disability Support Program provides eligible people with disabilities with income support to pay for living expenses such as food and housing. Eligibility for this program, as well as the amount of income support you can receive, is directly affected not only by a person’s income, but also the assets they own. [Read more…]

Oustanding Claims Against an Estate

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OUTSTANDING CLAIMS AGAINST AN ESTATE

If you are acting as an Estate Trustee, you may have to deal with a person who decides they want to make a claim against the estate for money they believed the deceased person owed them, for any reason. Sometimes a person may only make a suggestion that they will file a claim but have yet to follow through on actual court documents. In any event, an Estate Trustee could be liable if they distribute the estate with the knowledge that the claim is a possibility and that person later files a claim. [Read more…]

Assuming Rental Items in a House Purchase

G+G Rental Items

In Ontario, it is not unusual to find rental items in a home that is being sold. Such items may include the hot water tank or an alarm system. It is also common for the new owner of the home to agree to assume the contracts of these rental items when they purchase the house. [Read more…]

Estate Litigation and Limitation Periods

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ESTATE LITIGATION AND LIMITATION PERIODS

In Ontario, there is a general two-year limitation period in which a person can bring a claim in court on a civil matter. Whether or not this limitation period applies to estate matters can be dependent upon the situation at hand.

The two year limitation period is subject to a concept called ‘discoverability’. This means that the two year limitation period does not start to run until the time that a person knows, or reasonably could have known, that the cause of action occurred. [Read more…]