October 22, 2020

No Will and Separated … Who Inherits What?

PREFERENTIAL SHARE OF MARRIED SPOUSE IF YOU DIE WITHOUT A WILL

(EVEN IF YOU HAVE BEEN SEPARATED, BUT NOT DIVORCED, FOR MANY YEARS)

On intestacy (dying without a Will) where the deceased was married at the time of their death (whether or not they are separated), the Succession Law Reform Act provides that the first $200,000.00 of the estate be paid to the deceased’s married spouse at the time of death. The rest of the estate is divided between the spouse and any surviving children of the deceased. If there are no surviving children the married spouse gets the entire estate.

[Read more…]

Ontario Retail Sales Tax Clearance Certificates

IN ONTARIO RETAILS SALES TAX CLEARANCE CERTIFICATES ARE STILL REQUIRED

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…]

Spousal Trust in a Will

SPOUSAL TRUSTS CAN BE COMPLICATED, ENSURE YOU SEEK THE ADVICE OF AN ACCOUNTANT AND LAWYER

If you have children from a previous marriage, you may want your new spouse to benefit from your estate while they are alive and have your estate pass to your children on the death of your new spouse.

You can accomplish this with suitable provisions in your Will that detail whether your entire estate or parts of it are to be held for the benefit of your new spouse. [Read more…]

Real Estate Purchase and Water Potability Certificate

G+G Water Test Bottle

WATER POTABILITY TESTS ARE CRUCIAL FOR COUNTRY A PURCHASE

If the property you are buying is located in the country, it will probably be serviced by a well. A buyer needs to ensure that the water is potable (drinkable). It is common for an Agreement of Purchase and Sale to indicate that the seller will provide a Water Potability Certificate. [Read more…]

Estate Planning – Joint Assets with Children

CONCERNS WITH JOINT ASSETS WITH CHILDREN FOR ESTATE PLANNING PURPOSES

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…]

Cloud Based Storage using DropBox

DROPBOX ALLOWS REMOTE ACCESS TO ALL YOUR FILES

DropBox is cloud based storage for your computer. With a DropBox account you can save your office files to DropBox and then access those files from home or anywhere else you might happen to be.

DropBox simply appears in your file explorer window as a drive. You can create subfolders within your DropBox account. [Read more…]

Trusts and Their Use in Estate Planning

trust puzzle

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…]

Selling and Buying a House on the same day

TO AVOID CLOSING DELAYS, CONSIDER BRIDGE FINANCING

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…]

Lost Will?

ALL IS NOT LOST WHEN AN ORIGINAL WILL IS LOST

Executors and the beneficiaries of an estate may panic when they discover the deceased’s original Will has been lost or destroyed or they just cannot find it. The courts may allow a copy of a Will to be probated in the place of the original Will in the right circumstances.

You must be able to show:

[Read more…]

Oustanding Claims Against an Estate

G+G Estate Debt3

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…]