Focus On

Wills, Trusts & Estates


Friday, March 20, 2020 @ 11:25 AM

COVID-19: Family law going forward | Gary Joseph

The rush to find alternate ways to assist clients is remarkable. The level of suffering from this pandemic is undeniable but for the family law bar, adversity has spawned a reinvigorated effort to find ways to move matters forward, creatively craft dispute resolution methods and work towards settlement. ... [read more]

Thursday, March 19, 2020 @ 1:17 PM

Top next generation lead boosting tactics for law firms | Fran Jakubowicz

In terms of marketing spend, the legal industry is one of the most aggressive, with North American law firms spending anywhere from two to 10 per cent of their revenue on marketing activities, and 65 per cent of that amount is devoted to digital marketing activities. Yet, with law firms everywhere scrambling for space on every available digital platform, and with an average conversion rate of approximately two per cent on traditional website lead generation forms, conventional digital marketing tactics are having to create new ways to reach their audience. ... [read more]

Thursday, March 19, 2020 @ 8:22 AM

COVID-19 court closures: What to make of it and what to do | Gary Joseph

At the risk of some serious pushback, am I the only one upset by the Supreme Court of Justice shutdown? We are facing a serious health crisis that cannot be understated. We all need to implement safe office procedures, limit personal contact and perhaps more but we also have to continue to represent families who cannot sit on the sidelines while the courts are closed. Many are in need of support and cannot bring motions. Many are not seeing their children and cannot seek access. What happened to telephone conference calls, Skype and Zoom access? Do we simply park all our matters that are urgent but will not meet the test for urgency? ... [read more]

Tuesday, March 17, 2020 @ 8:37 AM - Last Updated: Tuesday, March 17, 2020 @ 11:23 AM

Wellness: How we can weather COVID-19 crisis | Darryl Singer

COVID-19 has us all on the edge of our seats. What does it mean for our clients’ interests, the administration of justice, our health, our profession, our income, our families? ... [read more]

Monday, March 16, 2020 @ 8:45 AM

Grace period for U.S. citizens is over: Big Brother is watching george_washington_sm

Canadian banks operating in Canada have been facing a big headache because of a U.S. law called FATCA and that ache may just get much worse. ... [read more]

Friday, March 13, 2020 @ 1:16 PM

Social media deep dive: Estate complications socialmedia_conveyor_sm

As with any online account, an individuals’ use of social media and their preferences for handling those accounts on incapacity and death will depend on how they used those social platforms while living. This can get complicated for estate planners for the following reasons: ... [read more]

Friday, March 13, 2020 @ 9:04 AM

INTEREST IN LAND - Life estates - Rights of life tenant

Appeal by the defendants from summary judgment declaring that the plaintiff had a life interest, with exclusive possession, in the parties’ family cottage. ... [read more]

Thursday, March 12, 2020 @ 8:57 AM

Vulnerable litigants and family members: A little help from my friends elderly_will_sm

It often happens that sibling “A” becomes suspicious of sibling “B’s” motives when sibling “B” assists an elderly parent in obtaining legal advice or pursuing litigation. Indeed, estate litigators frequently rely on such facts as a basis for an undue influence claim or suspicious circumstances in a will challenge. Can an elderly or vulnerable litigant ever rely on a family member to assist in retaining a lawyer and getting legal advice? And, what is a litigant to do (and, more importantly, not do) when they are concerned that their adversary lacks capacity? ... [read more]

Wednesday, March 11, 2020 @ 12:38 PM

Powers of attorney for mobile clients: Other jurisdictions and Ontario suitcase_travel_sm

More thought and planning is needed to deal with incapacity issues in our increasingly mobile society, in particular powers of attorney for personal care and advance health directives. Without proper planning, should a person become incapable and live or have assets in other jurisdictions, they and their family could be subject to court proceedings to appoint a guardian or equivalent, which is intrusive, expensive and subject to ongoing court supervision. ... [read more]

Tuesday, March 10, 2020 @ 2:02 PM

Navigating privacy breaches for charities, NFPs info_data_breach_sm

Privacy breaches are a real risk for all organizations, including charities and not-for-profits (NFPs), and can result in a range of consequences including legal liability, litigation and class action lawsuits, regulatory investigation and enforcement, business interruption, financial loss and reputational damage. ... [read more]