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Author: Margaret O'Sullivan

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

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2020 Vision: Creating a Family Contingency Plan

With the start of a new year and a new decade, we tend to focus more than usual on important personal goals and objectives. One goal to consider is creating a family contingency plan. Your plan can be short and simple, or lengthy and detailed. In brief, it entails creating

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Getting Ready for the New Trust Reporting and Disclosure Rules

In a previous blog, “The Movement to Transparency and the Erosion of Privacy” we wrote about the global move to greater transparency by government and taxing authorities which they claim is necessary to combat money laundering and tax evasion. As part of that agenda which the government asserts is necessary

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Bridging the Common Law-Civil Law Succession Divide

For those of us who live and work in a common law world, it is hard to imagine that we are by far the minority. Most of the world is governed by a civil law regime, customary law or religious law. Continental Europe, Russia, China, Japan, South America, Mexico and

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Moving On Up: The Transition to Wealth

The psychology of wealth is emerging as a distinct area of academic study and research. With aging baby boomers, and the trillion dollar wealth transfer that is now beginning to take place, we need to know more about wealth, how it impacts families, and how to successfully transition wealth. The

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Update on Medical Assistance in Dying

It is timely to consider the topic of medical assistance in dying. Since June 17, 2016, three years ago last week, Canadian law has recognized as a fundamental human right to be protected by our Charter of Rights and Freedoms the right to have assisted dying. On that date, Parliament

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Canadian Tax Rates: How Do We Compare?

Now that the flurry of another tax season has come and gone, and we can put tax return preparation to the side until next year, its seems timely to consider in a dispassionate way how Canadian tax rates stack up against other countries, in particular the U.S.. Do we pay

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Using Letters of Wishes to Guide your Guardians

In Ontario, a standard guardianship clause in a will where there are minor children typically appoints one or more guardians, may include alternate ones, and will usually refer to the need to obtain a permanent appointment by the court pursuant to the Children’s Law Reform Act[1] (please refer to my

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At Which Age Should Children Inherit?

Life spans are increasing. Consider that in Canada over the last decade alone, life expectancy for those who reach 65 has climbed by two years, and men on average who are 65 today can expect to live to 84 and women to 87, while half of Canadians age 20 today

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