Focus On

Wills, Trusts & Estates


Tuesday, December 10, 2019 @ 10:47 AM

Is typed note on home computer a will? typing_laptop_sm

“Get a will made out at some point.” These words were typed in a document found on the deceased’s home computer, followed by a brief description of how his assets were to be split among his siblings. In Hubschi Estate (Re) 2019 BCSC 2040, the British Columbia Supreme Court was asked whether this document could be “cured” and declared as the deceased’s will even if it did not meet the formal requirements under the Wills, Estate and Succession Act, SBC 2009, c 13 (WESA). ... [read more]

Monday, December 09, 2019 @ 11:40 AM

Charter on death: Religious conscience, legislation | Barry W. Bussey

Should the law accommodate religious conscience in the definition of death?  ... [read more]

Monday, December 09, 2019 @ 9:03 AM

Digital asset deep dive: Dangers of ignoring e-mail digital_lightbulb_sm

In today’s court of public opinion, amplified by social media, estate planners should expect clients and their beneficiaries to express their displeasure if not advised of the impact digital assets as simple as e-mail could have on estate planning. In the digital age, e-mail is the foundation of the new home office and gateway to your client’s information. Without preplanning, the fiduciary may end up dead-in-the-water without access to the critical information needed to find even physical assets, let alone maximizing the value of the client’s estate. ... [read more]

Friday, December 06, 2019 @ 1:22 PM

Law firm marketing: Asking the big questions | Jana Schilder

There are two truths in law firm marketing for the coming year that have not changed in decades: One is that business is always about who is willing to give your firm the business as opposed to a competitor. And two, the best lawyers constantly take action to expand their “sphere of influence.” ... [read more]

Thursday, December 05, 2019 @ 11:10 AM

Serving legal papers via social media

As many lawyers know, locating and personally serving a defendant with a statement of claim can at times be an onerous process and it can especially be troubling if you are having difficulties locating the defendant. ... [read more]

Wednesday, December 04, 2019 @ 9:42 AM

Principal residence trusts for disabled persons: Proposed amendment Wooden house balanced with money

In 2016 the federal government announced amendments to the Income Tax Act (ITA), including changes to the definition of “principal residence.” The outcome of these changes was such that, as of Jan. 1, 2017, only three categories of trusts remained eligible to claim the principal residence exemption (PRE): ... [read more]

Tuesday, December 03, 2019 @ 8:32 AM

Digital asset deep dive: Client management digital_lightbulb_sm

When a client comes to you for estate planning advice with a comprehensive and detailed list of assets, the follow-on steps result in developing a plan; taking client instructions; providing advice; and executing on the actions directed by the client. ... [read more]

Tuesday, December 03, 2019 @ 6:26 AM

GIFTS - Inter vivos - Validity of transfer

Appeal by the plaintiff from trial judgment finding that the appellant’s mother succeeded in having her property transmitted to the respondents, her other two children, without it passing through her estate. ... [read more]

Monday, December 02, 2019 @ 11:33 AM

Gender diversity in legislative drafting act | Lawrence David

One never truly knows to where a simple cup of vanilla chai can possibly lead. Case in point: I went to an unnamed, yet well-known coffee shop around the block after a day of writing. Aside from placing my order, I had an incredibly insightful conversation with a barista. Their name is Jaclyn, and they are an exemplar of human warmth, decency and going above and beyond preparing a customer a cup of vanilla chai. Jaclyn inspired this column and I am privileged to dedicate it to them. ... [read more]

Thursday, November 28, 2019 @ 1:56 PM

Capacity for powers of attorney: A legal test brain_gears_sm

Last month we looked at the capacity for a will. Now we will look at the capacity for powers of attorney, mainly the power of attorney for property and power of attorney for personal care. ... [read more]