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Joint Account Woes

Joint accounts often present problems for estates, including for reasons one wouldn’t necessarily imagine. Many times when a will is drafted, it is thought that all of the testator’s assets will flow through the estate and be available to pay estate administration expenses, including final income taxes arising on death. However, as the remaining balance […]

Mouldy Transactions!

“Mould” is a term used to describe a large group of microorganisms (including mushrooms, toadstools and yeast) making up the Fungi Kingdom in biology. Over 270 species of mould have been discovered to exist in Canadian homes. Where moisture, heat and a source of nutrients co-exist, moulds grow and reproduce rapidly. Sources of moisture in […]

Henson Trusts – Planning for the Disabled Beneficiary

Families with disabled beneficiaries who are dependent on their caregivers have special issues to consider when planning for the financial resources that will be available to these beneficiaries, including through their estates. The Ontario Disability Support Plan offers assistance to adults with disabilities, but there are limits. If the disabled adult inherits assets directly or […]

What is Land Transfer Tax?

Congratulations, you made an offer to purchase a new home! Avoid the heart palpitations that will come when your lawyer advises you of the closing funds that they will need by way of certified funds by familiarizing yourself with land transfer tax now. Ontario land transfer tax is a provincial tax that the purchaser pays […]

Missing Estate Gifts

From time to time, testators (will makers) gift specific assets in their wills which later cannot be found at the date of death because they have been destroyed or disposed of.  In such a situation, the gift will fail in that the intended beneficiary will receive nothing and the gift is said to have “adeemed”.  […]

Post-Inspection Concerns: When Things Go Wrong

There may come a time that you discover something wrong with your house, and you may find yourself disappointed with your home inspection. Intermittent or concealed problems You can only discover some problems by living in a house. They cannot be discovered during the few hours of a home inspection. For example, some shower stalls […]

Child Inheritances: A Matter of Trust

There are a number of ways that a child under 18 (referred to as a “minor”) may inherit assets. The child could:  be named as a beneficiary in a Will inherit from a relative who dies without a will (referred to as “dying intestate”) if the child is one of the legal beneficiaries under the […]

Got Plans for Your Land? Then Check the Zoning By-Laws…

Ever wonder if the guy down the street from you is really allowed to keep a pet elephant? What about the lady who just opened a butcher shop in her garage or the religious group which has its place of worship in the community park? The use of land in a community can be a […]

Does Your Estate Have Moral Obligations?

One of the many benefits of preparing a will or estate plan is the opportunity to direct how your assets should be distributed on your death.  However, as each individual’s circumstances are different, your freedom to have your instructions followed may be affected by obligations your estate will eventually owe to others. Provincial legislation enables […]

Become Principal Residence Savvy!

Real estate has long been a much sought after type of investment due to its income earning potential and its historical trend of increasing in value over time.  In fact, many believe they will “cash in” by holding real estate in their asset portfolio and eventually selling it for significant profits. However, there are tax […]