August 22, 2017

Ontario Retail Sales Tax Clearance Certificates


Ontario has had harmonized sales tax (“HST”) since July 1, 2010. Ontario Retail Sales Tax formed a lien against the assets of a business if they were sold unless a Clearance Certificate was obtained from the Retail Sales Tax Office prior to closing.

A Retail Sales Tax Clearance Certificate is still required for any sale of all or substantially all of the assets of a business, even if it closed after the HST came into effect in Ontario. [Read more…]

Estate Planning – Joint Assets with Children


Clients often ask us to transfer their assets (including their house) so that it is held jointly between them and one or more of their children. Transferring your assets into your name and one or more of your children’s names as joint tenants in order to avoid probate tax is often a bad idea. [Read more…]

Misuse of Powers of Attorney


A Power of Attorney for Property gives one or more individuals the authority to deal with your assets and liabilities. If there are no limitations in the Power of Attorney (and usually there are not) the Power of Attorney will allow the people you name to do anything you can do except make a Will. [Read more…]

Managing Real Estate Assets …

If the Deceased owns a house or other real estate, there are some basic steps you will want to take immediately to ensure the security of the real estate asset(s). Consulting a a lawyer about these steps is critically important and should be done sooner rather than later.

That said there are some basic steps you will want to take immediately to ensure the security of the real estate asset(s). [Read more…]

Selling and Buying a House on the same day


It is common for people who are selling a house and buying a replacement home to have both deals close on the same day. This can sometimes result in closing delays. Your sale transaction has to be completed before your purchase transaction can close as the funds from the sale are required for the purchase. There is no way for you to know how many other “downstream” transactions have to close as well. If your sale transaction closes late in the day there may not be enough time to transfer funds to the lawyer acting on the other side of your purchase transaction. In that event, your furniture may be stuck on a moving truck and the moving company will likely charge you hefty standby fees. [Read more…]

Lawyers and their support team working remotely

LogMeIn is a computer application that allows you to remotely control a computer. If you have LogMeIn installed on your office computer, you can remotely access and control that computer from any other computer that also has LogMeIn installed on it. LogMeIn can also be installed on portable devices like an IPad or IPhone (the IPhone screen is a little small however). [Read more…]

Planned Charitable Giving can be a key Estate Planning Tool

Planned or charitable giving is a unique opportunity to “have your cake and eat it too”. A gift to a charitable organization can help you take full advantage of incentives offered by governments as it relates to estate planning and estate taxes while allowing you to provide for charitable organizations that are close to your heart. [Read more…]

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

trust puzzle


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

G+G Shareholder

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…]