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Author: Stephanie Battista

How Not to Update Your Will

Your Will is an expression of your last wishes and sometimes, as circumstances and family dynamics change, you will need to update your Will to reflect these changes. But these updates should not be taken lightly and, if not done properly, can put your entire estate plan in jeopardy. This

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Beyond the Business: Other Uses for a Dual Will Plan

In jurisdictions where there are high probate fees, like Ontario, using multiple Wills in your estate plan is of particular importance. As you may be aware, you can have two Wills – a Primary Will that governs any asset that would likely attract a request of probate, and a Secondary

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How to Deal with Personal Effects to Prevent Family Fights

Clients like to say that they don’t have any personal effects of value. While they likely mean monetary value, they are overlooking the sentimental value these items may have. Fights over estates are not always about the dollars and cents. It is not uncommon to see fights among beneficiaries that

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What Happens When You Don’t Have a Power of Attorney

A Continuing Power of Attorney for Property and a Power of Attorney for Personal Care are simple but powerful documents. In short, a Power of Attorney is a document in which the grantor appoints another person – the attorney – the power to act on the grantor’s behalf including in

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A Letter of Wishes: When Your Trustee Is Also a Genie

In the world of estate planning, a genie is not the only one who could potentially grant you a wish: your trustee may also be able to do this with the help of a letter of wishes. A letter of wishes is a non-binding document that sets out suggestions to

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Think of Your Executor when Planning with Joint Assets

Jointly held assets are a popular estate planning tool because of how simple they appear. Adding a child on title to the house seems like a quick way to avoid paying probate taxes, or adding them as a joint owner on a bank account could be a convenient way to

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You Cannot Give What You Don’t Have

Your will can sometimes be seen as your final words to your loved ones. You may want to set out specific gifts to the people who you cherish most or who have helped you out during your lifetime. But as in life, you need to make sure you can actually

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Little Orphan Assets

When building a life together, one of the more important decisions for married spouses or common-law partners is how to deal with their respective assets and whether or not some or most should be combined. Holding assets jointly with your spouse or partner, particularly in less complex estates, is a

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