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Wills, Trusts & Estates

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Wednesday, February 24, 2021 @ 3:05 PM

New wills and estates, corporate lawyer for Devry Smith Frank

Devry Smith Frank LLP (DSF) welcomed Esther Abecassis, a new wills and estates and corporate lawyer who is joining the Toronto office. ... [read more]

Wednesday, February 24, 2021 @ 2:33 PM

Lawyers and the OBA: Come blow your horn | Gary Joseph

In the midst of this pandemic, public confidence in government and various institutions has been strained (to put it mildly). At every turn it seems that our political leaders are failing us. The federal government’s vaccine response reminds me of the Keystone Cops skits of old. The operation of “Cottage Parliament” by our prime minister strikes many as an affront to democracy. Our provincial government’s shutdown policies are inconsistent and hard to understand. In all of this, certain segments of our society have bucked the trend and performed wonderfully. High on my list is the Ontario Bar Association (OBA). Full disclosure: I am a member but have absolutely no involvement in management of the OBA. ... [read more]

Tuesday, February 23, 2021 @ 9:32 AM

New law society boss prepares for post-pandemic future Leah Kosokowsky, CEO of the Law Society of Manitoba

New Law Society of Manitoba chief executive officer Leah Kosokowsky has been handed the baton of leadership during unprecedented times for the regulator. In a recent interview with The Lawyer’s Daily, Kosokowsky talked of the road going forward as the Law Society of Manitoba (LSM) continues its efforts to navigate the social and economic impacts of COVID-19, as well the need for the society to keep an eye on a stalled legislative bid to expand the roles of paralegals and other non-lawyer practitioners in the province. ... [read more]

Monday, February 22, 2021 @ 1:23 PM

Estate COVID problems part two: The importance of a will People fighting over money in giant hand

A common theme executors and loved ones are faced with is when their loved one dies without a will, also called dying intestate. In the first article in this series we wrote regarding the intestate succession process when a person dies without a will. Many issues arise when one dies intestate and family members may find themselves in litigation. ... [read more]

Monday, February 22, 2021 @ 9:52 AM

Nova Scotia law society issues succession planning standard Tilly Pillay

Succession planning for lawyers is not optional in Nova Scotia. Now the Succession Planning Professional Standard issued by the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society (NSBS) spells out exactly what is required of lawyers and law firms. ... [read more]

Monday, February 22, 2021 @ 8:28 AM

A time to think about justice system — and to act | Brad Regehr and Vivene Salmon

Innovation, collaboration and studied but determined steps forward will be key to the evolving modernization of the justice system kick-started by the COVID-19 pandemic. ... [read more]

Friday, February 19, 2021 @ 1:23 PM

Has the litigation culture shift happened? Dial pointing to "New Way"

In 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada issued a judicial clarion call in Hryniak v. Mauldin 2014 SCC 7. The court required a litigation “culture shift” in Canada, requiring the judiciary and lawyers to apply more efficient modes of resolving parties’ disputes. ... [read more]

Friday, February 19, 2021 @ 10:01 AM

No turning back from pandemic’s changes to justice system: CBA report CBA president Brad Regehr

When transmitting the first message to officially open the Baltimore to Washington telegraph line, Samuel Morse included a simple statement: “what hath God wrought?” The same question has likely passed through the minds of many people over the past year as the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered businesses and schools and forced many people into makeshift home offices. Canada’s justice system has not been immune from that change, with trials moving online and lawyers filing their documents electronically. And now the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) says it is time to make many of those changes permanent. ... [read more]

Friday, February 19, 2021 @ 8:27 AM

Executor denied indemnity by beneficiaries for tax liability Dominos falling on a red block man

Here is a cautionary tale for executors administering an estate. Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) makes executors personally liable for the estate’s final tax return. Further, executors should not be in a hurry to make distributions from the estate until a tax clearance certificate has been received from CRA. Finally, it is difficult to try to get money back after it has been distributed to beneficiaries. ... [read more]

Thursday, February 18, 2021 @ 8:29 AM

Made to measure: Mental health at Canadian law schools | Sharath Voleti

The legal profession is grueling and stressful, with many lawyers facing mental health challenges such as depression, anxiety and addiction issues. Common refrains from lawyers include poor overall satisfaction and work-life balance, which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, the legal profession has taken important steps by providing supports such as the Member Assistance Program and raising awareness through continuing education programs. Comparatively little attention, however, has been paid to law student mental health. ... [read more]