March 29, 2017

Estate Assets …

When beneficiaries of an estate come to see me, they often are not aware of the extent of the estate assets.

A Will does not usually have the details of the assets in it. There is a good reason for that. If you list the assets in the will, the will has to be changed when assets are acquired or disposed of. [Read more…]

Appointment of Guardians of Children in Your Will

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Parents who have children under the age of majority will naturally want to provide for them in their Wills. In addition to arranging their inheritance, most parents will want to name a guardian for their children should both parents die at the same time or if a parent is in a single-parent situation. [Read more…]

Incorporating Your Business: Liability Considerations

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There are many positive reasons to incorporate your business or professional practice. The main reason lawyers recommend clients consider incorporating is to limit personal liability with respect to the corporation’s actions. Unlike a sole proprietorship or a partnership, a corporation is a separate legal entity. Often shareholder’s liability exposure in a corporation is limited to the amount they have invested in the corporation, thereby protecting their personal assets. [Read more…]

Estate Planning and Separation


It is important to review your estate planning upon separation from your spouse. Separation by itself will not have an effect on your Will or the distribution of your estate. Some of the things to consider and discuss with your lawyer are:

  1. You should consider revoking your Will and Powers of Attorney and making new ones right away, and possibly another Will when matters with your spouse are resolved;
  2. If you do not have a Will, you should consider preparing one;
  3. If you own property with your spouse as joint tenants, including your matrimonial home, you should consider the advisability of severing the joint tenancy;
  4. You should consider changing your beneficiary designations for life insurance policies, RRSPs, etc. [Read more…]

No Will? How do you transfer ownership of a deceased’s vehicles?

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If your spouse or loved one died without a Will and left behind vehicles registered in their name only, selling them after their death can be a tricky endeavor. In order to sell a vehicle, the ownership must be signed by the registered owner. If the owner is deceased, the vehicles need to be transferred into the name of their spouse or the person handling their estate in order for the vehicles to be transferred or sold. [Read more…]

Legalese and Its Role in Your Will

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You decide that you should have a will written to protect yourself and your assets upon your death. You decide what you want this important document to say and get lawyer to draft it. But when the Will is sent to you for your review, you are surprised to find that it is written in “legalese”—a language that can be confusing for the lay person. [Read more…]

Automatic Revocation of Wills


There are situations where a validly drawn will can be automatically revoked with no express intention on the part of the owner of the Will. The two most common situations where this occurs are marriage and divorce.

[Read more…]

Estate Accounts need to be kept in a specific format


Executors of estates are required to keep detailed accounting records. These records include:

• Original assets of the estate;
• All capital and revenue received by the estate;
• All capital and revenue paid out by the estate;
• All investments made on behalf of the estate;
• The current assets of the estate at any point where the executor is having the accounts approved by beneficiaries. [Read more…]

Treatment of CPP Death Benefit by the Estate


If you have contributed to the Canada Pension Plan (“CPP”), you will be entitled to a CPP death on your death. The amount of the death benefit will depend on the number of CPP credits you have accumulated. The current maximum death benefit is $2,500.00.

The CPP death benefit is income to the estate and taxable as such (believe it or not). It is also an estate asset on which executor’s compensation is payable. It will also be included in the value of the estate for the purposes of distribution among the beneficiaries. [Read more…]

Security Bond for Statutory Guardian


The Public Guardian & Trustee (“PGT”) of Ontario becomes the statutory guardian of any person in Ontario who becomes incapable without having a Continuing Power of Attorney for Property. It is possible for someone (usually a relative) to apply to replace the PGT and become a substitute guardian. [Read more…]