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Choosing the Right Estate Trustee

The Estate Trustee (also known as the executor) is the person appointed in an individual’s will to carry out the instructions in the will. As this role requires much time and effort, the person so appointed should be chosen with great care. The duties of an estate trustee include: arranging for the funeral and burial […]

Effective Succession Planning for Cottages and Investment Properties

Despite the obvious benefits of owning a cottage or investment property, there are numerous issues that can arise when they are transferred. For example: Which children, if any, are interested in future ownership? Which one(s) do you want to transfer it to? What are the tax and probate fee implications to transferring the property now […]

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 […]

Preparing for Joint Home Ownership

An increasing number of people are entering the housing market by buying jointly with a friend or relative. Families are also buying cottages or rental properties together. For many, it enables them to enter the market while prices are high and decreases the individual risk and day-to-day responsibility of such an investment. However, as has […]

What If I Default On My Mortgage?

When you stop making regular mortgage payments to your lender, several events will inevitably happen. You will be assessed fees for late payments, your mortgage will fall into default, your credit rating will fall as the late or missed payments are reported to the credit bureaus and other lenders will be more hesitant to lend […]

Living Wills: Communicating Your Health Care Wishes

A “living will” is an expression used to describe a document containing a person’s medical care wishes should they become unable to communicate them due to incapacity. A living will clause is often contained in a Power of Attorney for Personal Care (POA PC) as the attorney must have regard to treatment wishes they are […]

Applying for Probate: A Taxing Affair

The Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee (the “Certificate”) (formerly Letters Probate) is required by some third parties dealing with the executors and trustees in order to confirm the date of death and the executors’ and trustees’ authority to act. It is issued in both cases where there is  or is not a will. Before […]

Benefits of Having A Survey

A survey is a two-part report prepared by a qualified Ontario Land Surveyor pursuant to the Surveys Act (Ontario) bearing the seal of the surveyor. It consists of a plan showing the features of the land, such as buildings, fences, and natural features, and a written report (often endorsed on the plan) indicating any encroachments […]

Appointing Guardians and Custodians for Minor Children

One of the most important estate planning considerations for parents is who will care for their minor children in case of the parents’ untimely deaths. Indeed, for many parents, appointing custodians for their children will be the sole reason they undertake any estate planning at all at that relatively early stage in their lives. There […]

Mortgage Pre-Approvals Are Not Guarantees

A mortgage pre-approval is a document from a lender stating that a prospective buyer may have the income, assets and credit to carry the mortgage required to purchase a house of some assumed value. Some of its uses are briefly described here: The initial review of your financial profile indicates the maximum loan amount a […]