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Wills, Trusts & Estates

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Friday, March 24, 2017 @ 9:02 AM

Media relations isn't marketing, and that's just the first mistake lawyers make | Julius Melnitzer

When it comes to maximizing the benefits of good media relations, many Canadian law firms haven’t quite got it yet. For those of you who are thinking, “What are you talking about? The profession’s marketing savvy has come a very long way” — you’re making my point. What a lot of law firms still don’t seem to understand is that marketing and media relations are two distinct arts. Lumping them together is akin to shoving an admiralty lawyer and an entertainment lawyer into the same pigeonhole. ... [read more]

Friday, March 17, 2017 @ 8:54 AM

Top 10 risk management tips for charities, not-for-profits

Charities and not-for-profits (NFPs) face increasing challenges in delivering their services to their members and the public, in part because of a more litigious reality and complicated regulatory environment. As such, charities and NFPs need to be familiar with an array of legal requirements that they need to comply with. ... [read more]

Tuesday, March 14, 2017 @ 10:44 AM

Aird & Berlis adds four partners to tax, estates group

Four new partners have joined Aird & Berlis LLP’s tax and estates group, Neil Bass, Rachel Blumenfeld,  Ed Esposto and Angelo Gentile. ... [read more]

Tuesday, March 14, 2017 @ 9:02 AM

Settling a family law dispute is only the first step, then comes the documentation

Once the parties have reached a settlement in a family law dispute, the next issue is how to document it.   ... [read more]

Friday, March 10, 2017 @ 8:51 AM

Drawing the fine line between zealous advocacy and incivility

Like American politics, the legal profession has suffered a decline in civility. ... [read more]

Wednesday, March 08, 2017 @ 8:37 AM

Ontario court of appeal sends mixed messages regarding probate jurisdiction

The Ontario Court of Appeal recently released two separate and very important decisions in the areas of wills and estates. The two cases were Spence v. BMO Trust Co. 2016 ONCA 196  and Neuberger v. York 2016 ONCA 191. In both of these decisions, the Court of Appeal addressed the issue of the court’s jurisdiction and role in matters of probate. ... [read more]

Tuesday, March 07, 2017 @ 12:02 AM

Rethink the billable hour to give middle class access to justice | Julius Melnitzer

The best thing the legal profession’s regulators could do to ensure access to justice for the middle class is to ban hourly billing — or at least mandate some sense into its use. ... [read more]

Friday, March 03, 2017 @ 3:02 PM

Access to Justice: Thinking big about access to justice | Thomas Cromwell

Access to justice is the biggest challenge facing our legal system. And just about every lawyer I know cares deeply about the health of that system and many are trying to help. But do we understand the problem and are we making progress? Those questions will be the jumping off spot for my exclusive to The Lawyer’s Daily column dedicated to access to civil and family justice in the coming months. ... [read more]

Friday, March 03, 2017 @ 8:48 AM

GIFTS - Inter vivos - Presumption of advancement - Parent to child - Validity of transfer - Donative intent (animus donandi)

Appeal by the defendant, John McKendry, from a trial judgment declaring he held real property in trust for his mother's Estate. The respondents, Margaret, Jean and Alexis, were three of the appellant's four sisters, all of whom were entitled to share in the mother's Estate. From 2006 through the mother's passing in 2012, John resided with the mother in her Vancouver home. In 2008, the mother transferred legal title in the home into joint tenancy with John. Initially, John held the beneficial interest in trust in equal shares for himself and his four sisters. In 2010, the mother removed the trust conditions attached to the transfer to ensure John would receive the property upon her death. She informed her lawyer in writing of her intention. The mother's 2010 Will divided the residue of her Estate equally among the sisters and included a paragraph stating John would receive the home. In 2012 and 2014, John's sisters brought litigation in respect of the home. The trial judge found the mother was required to execute a written deed of gift under seal for John to take beneficial ownership of the home upon her death, and therefore John held the property in trust for the Estate. John appealed. ... [read more]

Thursday, March 02, 2017 @ 7:00 PM

Simplify explanation of wills to avoid challenges

Not applicable ... [read more]