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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 […]

RRSP Designations Within an Estate Plan

There are two common ways to designate a beneficiary of your registered plan: On the application form for the plan. This method allows for quick transfer of the plan benefits to the beneficiary upon your death. It also means that your estate will not have to pay probate fees on the value of the RRSP. […]

Due Diligence Can Prevent Estate Litigation

Poor choices made by financial planners in connecting their clients to wills and estate lawyers can, and often do, result in lengthy and expensive estate litigation. Solicitor negligence is not something that people like to talk about, but it can be a problem, said Markham-based Andrea Kelly, barrister and solicitor, speaking at the CIFPs’ 9th […]

Conflict Over Laying a Loved One to Rest

From time to time, family relationships are strained, if not destroyed, over how a deceased loved one is to be laid to rest. Where family members cannot come to agreement, the law indicates how this emotionally charged question will be resolved. In Canada, the Estate Trustee (Executor) has the right to possess and dispose of […]

No Will?…Then What is Your Spouse Entitled To?

I have recently been concerned by the number of people that assume that their spouse will receive their entire estate should they die without a will (also called dying “intestate”). However, as we will briefly explore here, that will not necessarily be the outcome.

Jointly Held Assets: Avoiding Some of the Pitfalls

Two or more people may own assets jointly. This most often means that on the death of one of the joint owners, full title to the asset(s) will immediately transfer to the surviving joint owner(s), known as a right of survivorship. The result is that probate fees, some solicitors’ fees, some creditors, and publicity are […]

Personal Effects: Have You Considered Their Effect?

The division and disposition of a deceased person’s personal goods and household effects is often a contentious issue, particularly amongst family members. The conflict is most often caused by sentimental and emotional values friends and family members place on the items rather than their intrinsic values. Unfortunately, most people spend relatively little time considering how […]

Estate Contracts: A Look at Mutual Wills

Mutual wills are two wills, one executed by each of two individuals who have agreed to a specific estate plan. Most often each party leaves their estate (or a life interest in their estate) to the other party and their instructions are identical or very similar as to how their respective estates are to be […]