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our 10th year
blog anniversary


A warm welcome to our inaugural blog post.

In our future posts, we hope to provide concise, cogent and creative thoughts, ideas, perspectives and information on trust and estate matters, with a focus on cross-border, multi-jurisdictional and domestic issues.

Over the next while, we will deal with a number of topics that we think you will be very interested to know more about – such as:

  • how the U.S. rules work with regard to whether or not a person is a U.S. citizen, including for those who may have one or more U.S. parents but who have never even set foot south of the border, and resulting exposure to U.S. estate tax
  • the new Ontario Estate Administration Tax regime to come into effect in 2013 that we envision will have a dramatic impact on how estates will be administered – likely giving rise to using more trusts to pass assets on death given a lot more onerous and expensive compliance
  • exposure to U.S. estate tax for those of you who own U.S. securities and want to be invested in the U.S. market, and how these U.S. rules operate in regard to U.S. property – what is taxable and what is not?

We hope we have piqued your interest, if only a little….Our idea is for our blog posts to be diminutive “pearls of wisdom”, easy on the eye and to comprehend, timeless, and once strung together, make an attractive, important and valuable collection.

We intend to post on the topics we particularly enjoy thinking and advising on, including the challenging issues involving a world that is increasingly global, and seems to be getting only smaller – not bigger.

There are now many situations involving clients who have connections to another country or jurisdiction that arise today that simply did not make their way through our doorway a mere ten or fifteen or more years ago – a child now married and living in the U.K., or the U.S. – or a U.S. couple now living in Canada, whether temporarily or permanently – or the “mixed marriage” of a Canadian citizen married to a U.S. citizen.

In an increasingly affluent and diverse society, many people have assets in several jurisdictions – a cottage property here, a Costa Rican condo there, and a couple who used to be here but it may be somewhat unclear where they are now domiciled or resident – what to do when it comes time for estate planning?

We believe that trust and estate practice simply cannot be effectively – or even safely – practiced in domestic isolation. The variety of intricate situations clients now present given increasing mobility of people and their property involve consideration of many laws and how they inter-link – or don’t – and how to plan effectively as a result.

And we are also particularly interested in taking discreet but important topics to a new level as we try to “raise the bar” – so to speak – if only a little – with some new and creative ideas for best practice and some avant-garde, but well-grounded approaches to traditional trust and estate matters – be it relating to effectively using trusts and how best to design them, or considerations in planning to protect the inheritance you leave to a child and how matrimonial and family law has an impact, or how to defensively plan for incapacity in a world, unlike for prior generations, where many live longer but often for lengthy periods with diminished capacity.

We plan to raise some challenging ideas and to have some fun with our blog. We hope you will join us as we embark on our journey and that you will be a regular passenger – and we hope that you tell your friends and colleagues too!

Margaret O’Sullivan