Focus On

Wills, Trusts & Estates


Wednesday, September 09, 2020 @ 9:05 AM

Challenging the will of Dan Maloney: Legal meets personal hockey_player_sm

Hockey fans of a certain age will remember Dan Maloney as a player for, and later the head coach of, the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1970s and ’80s. He passed away recently at the age of only 68, and there are many unanswered questions about whether or not the hits he took (and dished out) during hockey’s toughest era contributed to the decline in his health and, ultimately, his death. ... [read more]

Friday, September 04, 2020 @ 2:08 PM

Parents were right to be concerned: Ramifications of Alberta’s Family Property Act Couple moving in together

Looking back on my teens and early adulthood, I recall my parents going on and on about how I should not move in with a partner until we were married. Changes to the Family Property Act earlier this year suggest my parents may have been on to something, as long-term dating may trigger entitlement to property. ... [read more]

Friday, September 04, 2020 @ 1:54 PM

When you don’t trust a beneficiary, use a trust protected_money_sm

Setting up a trust during your lifetime — referred to as an inter vivos trust — is an attractive tool for those who are looking to reduce their overall tax bill. Trusts can offer income-splitting advantages by allocating the trust assets’ income and capital gains to the hands of a beneficiary with a lower tax rate. Trusts can also drastically minimize one’s exposure to probate tax upon death. An asset that is held in trust on the date of death of the settlor would not be subject to probate tax (or estate administration tax in Ontario). In Ontario, the current rate is approximately 1.5 per cent, so this probate tax can get quite high depending on the value of the estate. ... [read more]

Wednesday, September 02, 2020 @ 1:18 PM

Navigating the modern courtroom: Ontario steps up | Karen Heath

In the first two articles in this series, it would be fair to say that my musings on modernizing Canadian courts have carried somewhat of a disparaging tone. It is true, I rode in from The Hague on a high horse, armed with technology best practices from the International Criminal Court I thought were sorely lacking in our justice system. While I do stand by my previous convictions, I offer something different today: a rosier outlook. ... [read more]

Tuesday, September 01, 2020 @ 1:36 PM

What executors can learn from Quadriga CX: Hardware and software forensic_accountant_sm

When examining the findings from the Quadriga Fintech Solutions Group fraud case that we discussed in the first two articles in this series, there are a number of estate planning and administration implications related to the technology. Your clients will most likely have a hardware device and e-mail. They may or may not own a web domain or cryptocurrencies. ... [read more]

Tuesday, September 01, 2020 @ 9:37 AM

COVID-19 pandemic brings sea change to law schools as classes shift online Back to Law School image sm

A new school year can often bring apprehension and anxiety for students, as thoughts go through their head of what their next eight months will look like as they walk among the trees and ivy-covered walls of campus. But this year law students are being faced with a new reality — coping with a massive shift to online learning as universities from coast-to-coast continue to adjust to the new realities brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. ... [read more]

Tuesday, September 01, 2020 @ 8:22 AM

Today’s law firm recruiting takes massive stakeholder co-operation | Julius Melnitzer BTLS

A monumental, pressure-packed collaboration has headed off the threat that COVID-19 presented to the 2020 law firm recruiting season. ... [read more]

Monday, August 31, 2020 @ 8:31 AM

The impact of COVID-19 on Canadian law students | Serena Eshaghurshan btls 320x210

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an unprecedented period of uncertainty and challenges, and law students are not exempt from facing these obstacles. In a time of so much uncertainty, many law students have grappled with remote classes, job scarcity and economic uncertainty. As many JD students prepare to enter the job market, it has become an unfortunate reality that articles are becoming fewer and harder to find. Fortunately, students and law schools are resilient and have proposed alternative learning and employment options to cope with the pandemic. While it has been challenging and overwhelming at times, students know they are not alone and can reach out for guidance and support. ... [read more]

Tuesday, August 25, 2020 @ 9:47 AM

Is your beneficiary designation safe? dad_child_money_sm

On March 16, 2020, Justice R.A. Lococo of the Ontario Superior Court released his reasons for decision in Calmusky v. Calmusky 2020 ONSC 1506. As part of his reasons, he applied the principles surrounding the presumption of resulting trust established by the Supreme Court of Canada case Pecore v. Pecore 2007 SCC 17, to two separate issues, one of which is cause for concerns among estate planners, financial advisers and estate solicitors across the province. ... [read more]

Friday, August 21, 2020 @ 1:22 PM

What executors can learn from Quadriga CX: Underlying technology of blockchain forensic_accountant_sm

In 2019, Quadriga Fintech Solutions Group (Quadriga) gained notoriety with the suspicious death of co-founder and CEO, Gerald Cotten, when it was reported that Cotten had died in India in December 2018 without leaving the private keys (passwords) to Quadriga’s digital wallet(s) that held all the clients’ cryptos estimated at $180 million. ... [read more]