O’Sullivan Estate Lawyers
in the Media

O’Sullivan Estate Lawyers in the Media

The Toronto-based trust and estate lawyers at O’Sullivan Estate Lawyers are regularly sought by reporters, editors, as well as TV and radio producers for their thought leadership, opinions and analysis of important and topical trust and estate issues which impact families in wealth succession and planning.

They are also regular columnists for The Lawyer’s Daily, published by LexisNexis, one of Canada’s most important publications for the legal profession, as well as Advisor’s Edge, published by Newcom. The firm is also a member of Mondaq, and has a robust listing of articles which are distributed through the Mondaq Global Network, with more than 1 million members worldwide, including lawyers, accountants, as well as C-suite executives and business owners.

Resulting Trusts can cause more problems than they solve

It’s unsurprising that clients are often on the lookout for “simple” solutions, including adding a child directly to title of their assets while they are alive. However, on this quest for simplicity and efficiency, the legal consequences of some of these shortcuts are often overlooked. Efforts to transfer large assets, like a house, into the hands of adult children to avoid paying tax or allow for immediate payouts, may be deemed to be a ‘resulting trust’ with certain strings attached.

Canada’s top Wills, Trusts, & Estates boutiques for 2021 revealed

Margaret O’Sullivan, managing partner at winner O’Sullivan Estate Lawyers, says these changes will “allow more efficiency and ability to accommodate clients wherever they may be, including snowbirds going south and others to their summer homes, which will smooth out the process.” Likewise, estate planning on video platforms will live on beyond the pandemic.

Executor denied indemnity by beneficiaries for tax liability

Here is a cautionary tale for executors administering an estate. Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) makes executors personally liable for the estate’s final tax return. Further, executors should not be in a hurry to make distributions from the estate until a tax clearance certificate has been received from CRA. Finally, it is difficult to try to get money back after it has been distributed to beneficiaries.

European ‘forced heirship’ in estate planning: A case study

While testamentary freedom — the autonomy to pass property on death as a person pleases — is a long-standing principle in Canada, most civil law jurisdictions in the European Union (EU) operate under a forced heirship regime. Open PDF

Should Canada have a wealth tax: lessons learned

Wealth taxes are not new — countries that have a wealth tax include France, India, Italy, Norway, Spain and Switzerland, and many that had them have abandoned them.

Pandemic complicates discretionary trust payouts

Trustees must balance the interests of income and capital beneficiaries amid economic uncertainty.

Paying for the pandemic

Sooner or later, raising taxes will be back on the agenda. Governments better prepare their citizens in advance.

The global pandemic has been a reminder that sacrifices must be made for the common good. Over the last few months, people everywhere were urged to do their duty — some by staying home, others by carrying on. At some point, they will all be asked to reach deeper into their wallets for what will likely be a long recovery.

We’re moving to Canada: Leaving assets abroad

When someone is packing up to move to another country, whether it be for work, education, family or maybe just a new adventure, in addition to leaving behind their friends and families, it is not uncommon for ex-patriots to leave behind a trail of assets, which can cause significant problems for their executors upon death.