Focus On

Wills, Trusts & Estates


Thursday, April 22, 2021 @ 1:58 PM

Fiduciary crash course: 5 estate law dos and don’ts Thumb up and thumb down signs

You will be acting as a fiduciary if you take on the role of executor, trustee or attorney for property. These roles are defined by the distinct set of legal principles and rules which constitute fiduciary law. Accepting to become an executor, trustee or attorney for property requires that you adopt a “fiduciary mindset,” and understand when your actions could cause a problem. ... [read more]

Thursday, April 22, 2021 @ 12:31 PM

Strain from too much screen time: The eyes have it Woman with closed eyes

It has been exactly a year since I wrote an article for The Lawyer’s Daily on the struggles of being a working parent at home while homeschooling children who are supposed to be learning on Zoom (but are, let’s face it, either playing video games in their room or hiding in their bed). Things were tough, but they were going to get better. After all, there’s no way these kids would still be virtual learning a year from now, right? ... [read more]

Wednesday, April 21, 2021 @ 2:10 PM

Google brings you 100,000 answers; librarians bring you the right one | Ciara Ward

I would hope that most people realize by now that libraries are more than books. As author Neil Gaiman observes, “If you perceive a library as a shelf of books, it may seem antiquated or outdated … that is to miss the point fundamentally. I think it has to do with nature of information. Information has value, and the right information has enormous value.” ... [read more]

Wednesday, April 21, 2021 @ 1:56 PM

The demise of oral advocacy? | Gary Joseph

This week I had the privilege of arguing two difficult appeals in the Ontario Court of Appeal. I am a perfectionist and my own biggest critic, so later while reflecting on my advocacy this week, I had time to pause and think about how I got to this point in my career. More specifically how whatever skills I do possess as an advocate, came to be. Two immediate thoughts came to mind, watching and doing. Having a great interest in the development of young advocates, I then reflected on what opportunities I had that perhaps they do not and will not have to develop their skills. ... [read more]

Wednesday, April 21, 2021 @ 8:47 AM

Animo revocandi and the presumption of revocation Hands tearing up a document

Animo Revocandi is a Latin term which means the intention to revoke. It is the state of mind to revoke, recall or annul. When an individual passes away with a will, but the original signed, witnessed will cannot be located, the law presumes that the testator intentionally destroyed the will. Absent a rebuttal of this presumption the individual’s estate will be administered in accordance with a prior will, provided the original can be found, or the individual will result in an intestacy. ... [read more]

Tuesday, April 20, 2021 @ 8:34 AM

Resulting trusts can cause more estate problems than they solve Taxes and inheritance

When clients decide to leave money to their children on their death, they generally want to do so in the simplest and easiest way. Anything that gets the inheritance into their children’s hands as quickly as possible, and with the smallest tax hit, is almost always the preferable way. ... [read more]

Wednesday, April 14, 2021 @ 1:26 PM

Big changes for small estates Jar of pennies

On April 1, 2021, the estates law changes from the Smarter and Stronger Justice Act came into effect in Ontario. The result of the bill raised the limit for a small estate to $150,000 and introduced Rule 74.1 in the Rules of Civil Procedure pertaining to the administration of small estates. ... [read more]

Wednesday, April 14, 2021 @ 10:24 AM

Lawyer librarian symbiosis | Ciara Ward

“What would you be without us?” “What have you done for us lately?” ... [read more]

Tuesday, April 13, 2021 @ 12:41 PM

Pallett Valo adds new associate to wills, estates and trusts group

Pallett Valo LLP welcomed Jesse Porter as a member of its wills, estates and trusts group. ... [read more]

Tuesday, April 13, 2021 @ 10:32 AM

Podcasting for lawyers and law firms Microphone, headphones and "on air" sign

There’s a podcast for every topic under the sun, including the world of law and legal services. Podcasts are becoming a popular and effective forum for both content consumption and content generation. While some listen to podcasts for entertainment, for many, they are an educational and thought leadership tool. ... [read more]