Focus On

Wills, Trusts & Estates


Friday, February 21, 2020 @ 8:22 AM

Estate freeze: Transferring business ownership to next generation dollarsign_ice_sm

Private businesses — many of which are family-owned and operated — are a key driver of the Canadian economy. Business owners invest heavily, working long hours and putting their capital at risk, to build and maintain their enterprises. Sadly, many businesses fail despite these efforts, but sometimes the results are impressive in terms of job creation, economic impact and growth in the value of the business. It’s been suggested that “estate freeze” tax planning allows wealthy business owners to escape taxation. Whether or not one agrees that wealthy Canadians should pay more taxes, the elimination of estate freeze planning will not make our tax system fairer or more efficient. ... [read more]

Thursday, February 20, 2020 @ 8:31 AM

What every firm should know about e-discovery: Evaluation and implementation ediscovery_software_sm

The need for e-discovery is well documented. So, now that we’ve gotten the “why” out of the way, let’s look at the “how” part of the story. It’s one thing to say, “I want an e-discovery solution,” but knowing how to choose, implement and run one is an entirely different matter. And it’s where even the best intentions go to die. ... [read more]

Wednesday, February 19, 2020 @ 8:39 AM

Loyalty programs, gift cards: Key points for estate planning reward_card_sm

Here are the key points and questions to ask clients regarding their favourite loyalty, travel reward or frequent shopper programs. ... [read more]

Tuesday, February 18, 2020 @ 9:07 AM

POWER OF ATTORNEY - Scope of authority

Appeal by the plaintiff finding the respondent did not owe the appellant a fiduciary duty under a power of attorney. ... [read more]

Tuesday, February 18, 2020 @ 9:04 AM

Boosting the rate of technology adoption | Aaron Baer

For many observers of the legal industry, the seemingly glacial change of innovation can be astounding. After all, it’s not unreasonable to wonder how the use of data analytics, process mapping or new technology within a law firm can be considered to be innovative. But the reality is that lawyers (and law firms) are often resistant to change. Being trained to identify all potential risks and being subject to a system that relies so heavily on precedent doesn’t exactly align itself well to change. And of course, there’s the incentive misalignment that will remain present in the legal profession so long as the billable hour reigns supreme. ... [read more]

Wednesday, February 12, 2020 @ 10:44 AM

Loyalty programs, gift cards: Impact on estate planning reward_card_sm

It might seem absurd to begin an estate planning conversation by asking a client about their favourite loyalty, travel reward, or frequent shopper program, but it might be the perfect introductory conversation to the digital asset aspects of the client’s estate plan. ... [read more]

Friday, February 07, 2020 @ 12:08 PM

Court of Appeal reviews ‘evidence of actual intention’ in mother’s will over cottage dispute David_Delagran_sm

The Ontario Court of Appeal has allowed an appeal in a family dispute over a cottage, which counsel involved in the case said illustrates “some of the perils” of succession planning for cottages. ... [read more]

Thursday, February 06, 2020 @ 9:35 AM

Properly structured trust can be useful for holding residential property home_inheritance_sm

A 2018 decision of the Quebec Court of Appeal in the case of Karam v. Estate of Yared 2018 QCCA 320 was extremely important for all spouses who are or may become subject to Quebec family patrimony law. In some circumstances, this decision has opened the door for spouses to own what would otherwise be considered a family patrimony asset through an inter vivos trust, thereby avoiding the legally mandated division of family patrimony assets on death. ... [read more]

Thursday, February 06, 2020 @ 7:07 AM

WILLS - Construction and interpretation - Testamentary intention

Appeal by the Estate of Ellery Muchmaker from the directions of the application judge regarding the purchase of a business. ... [read more]

Wednesday, February 05, 2020 @ 11:07 AM

Robot justice: China’s use of Internet courts Robotscales

Would it scare you if I said that China has been doing this since 2017? In December 2019, China has announced that millions of legal cases are now being decided by “Internet courts” that do not require citizens to appear in court. The “smart court” includes non-human judges, powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and allows participants to register their cases online and resolve their matters via a digital court hearing. ... [read more]