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February 2020 Archives

Death Taxes: Good or Bad and Why Do We Have Them?

In early February, I had the opportunity and pleasure of participating in a panel discussion of lawyers from several jurisdictions, including the U.S., Mexico, and Italy, at an international legal conference on the interesting topic "Inheritance Tax - Should More Countries Implement It?". We discussed and compared how our different regimes tax on death, as well as some of the policy issues relating to death taxes. What is intriguing is how differently each country approaches these issues, and how different our tax regimes are.

Powers of Attorney Disputes and Remedies: Something's Got to Give

The unfortunate reality is that when it comes to incapable persons, and the Ontario processes to deal with disputes and rights enforcement for them, none of the available processes are without flaws. Even with good planning, substitute decision-makers can disagree with each other or medical professionals regarding the best treatment option, and loved ones can disagree regarding whether their family member still has capacity to make their own decisions or not, or whether one person or another should be making decisions for an incapable person. Whether it's the Consent and Capacity Board, the Court or the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee, each has limitations, whether legal or practical, and each has drawbacks. Given our aging population and the increasing need to protect incapable persons in a dignified manner, it's not so much that "something's gotta give" but instead "something's going to give".