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Toronto Ontario Estate Law Blog

Do You Know Who Your Spouse Is?

The definition of who is and who is not a spouse, both for legal and income tax purposes, has changed a lot in the last few decades. Some previously discriminatory laws have been abolished (for example, the bar to same-sex couples marrying) and some rules have been updated to reflect

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The Preferential Share on an Intestacy: Time for an Update

On an intestacy (when a person dies without a will), each Canadian province and territory provides for a mandatory scheme to distribute the deceased’s property, which is typically between the testator’s surviving spouse and children, if any, and alternately to other relatives. Some provinces and territories provide a spouse with

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Unintended Consequences: Multiple Taxation on Death

Last November 2019, I had the opportunity to organize a session and speak at the STEP Spotlight Conference in London, U.K., along with colleagues from several countries, including Brazil, U.S., Belgium, France, and the U.K. We discussed how our different countries tax on death and how double or even triple

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New Trust Reporting and Disclosure Rules – 2021 is Coming Up Soon

In our previous blog, “Getting Ready for the New Trust Reporting and Disclosure Rules”, we wrote about the new Canadian trust reporting and disclosure rules coming into effect in 2021. Whatever you may think of the new requirements, if you are a trustee of an existing “express” trust (i.e. a trust

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Considerations in Giving to Your Children

As people are living longer, often well into their nineties, the way wealth is transferred to the next generation is starting to shift. The paradigm of waiting to pass family wealth to children on the second parent’s death is being reconsidered because parents are living longer and children have a

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Estate Planning When A Child Moves to the U.S.

A Canadian estate with U.S. connections can face complications due to the presence of any one of a number of factors. Sometimes these issues are known, and sometimes events occur which were not anticipated. When a child moves to the U.S., parents should review their estate plan and consider what

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Is Canada Second Best on ‘Best Interest Standard’?

One of the issues in wealth advising and planning is the regulation of those who provide financial product sales advice and financial planning services—often offered under the nomenclature of estate planning or retirement planning advice. A lot has happened recently in many jurisdictions, including Canada and the U.S., as regulators

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Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID): New Developments

It was heartbreaking to learn that Jean Truchon, who fought so valiantly to expand assisted-dying laws in Canada, felt forced to advance his medically assisted death procedure from June 2020 to early April. He chose to do so because of the COVID-19 pandemic and his inability to spend time with

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