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Toronto Ontario Estate Law Blog

Don’t let cross-border properties turn into cross-border pains

Perhaps I should refrain from re-stating the obvious, but it bears repeating–we live in an increasingly global and mobile society, where people move from jurisdiction to jurisdiction with relative ease. And when we’re not picking up and moving residences, we’re travelling to foreign destinations and buying property, opening bank accounts

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Redefining Family

Sometimes the law leads in pushing societal change forward, but often it lags far behind, particularly in the face of scientific innovation and rapid technological change. Over the past forty years or so, even how we define family has been subject to fundamental change, and in the future it will

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The Many and Varied Uses of Letters of Wishes in Your Estate Plan

Estate planning documents (such as a will, power of attorney for property, power of attorney for personal care, Henson-type trust and/or inter vivos trust) are the legal framework of an estate plan–the “apparatus”–which can seem to be a tricky network of legal rules, directions, and often unavoidably, a lot of

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The Two Certainties: Death and (Foreign) Taxes

A failure to take into account taxes on death can often defeat an estate plan. It can result in a smaller estate being available for distribution and it can also result in some beneficiaries bearing a disproportionate amount of the estate’s tax burden. While most estate plans take into account

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Filtering Out the Noise in Your Estate Planning

You’ve heard it before: there’s a lot of information out there these days. Thousands of hours of Youtube content are uploaded every day. Wikipedia entries are updated every minute. Blogs are written, websites created and refreshed. You can find information, accurate or not, on just about any subject, no matter

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Zen and the Art of Estate Plan Maintenance

You may remember the bestseller Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance which explores many themes, including the dichotomy between the “romantic” approach to life versus the “classical” approach–in the moment versus rational analysis–and the common ground linking them. The sense of mastery and peace of mind that comes with

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Canada, the U.S. and Going Borderless: Nowhere to Hide

Perspective is important and illuminating–only about fifteen years ago, or perhaps even less, it was not common to have to consider the impact our Canadian and U.S. tax and legal regimes have on estate planning and our affairs in general. The 49th parallel and the world’s longest undefended border symbolized

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Fiduciaries, Mom and Apple Pie

One question that we are frequently asked is “When does my role as an attorney for property begin?” Often this question comes from an adult child, who wants to know either when they should start helping Mom or when they can start helping Dad with paying bills, making investment decisions,

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