Focus On

Wills, Trusts & Estates


Friday, June 14, 2019 @ 9:31 AM

When a family trust is really a sham crossed_fingers_sm

Your client is the settlor of a family trust, one she claims was intended to be a gift to her children upon the last of the three children attaining the age of 30 years. The parties have separated. The wife maintains that the trust’s assets are neither hers’ nor her husband’s, but belong to the children who are the beneficiaries, and therefore do not form part of the net family property. The husband, who is the children’s father, counters that the trust is a sham that his wife uses to support the family’s lavish lifestyle whilst shielding the assets from forming part of the net family property. As a result, he argues, the trust should be considered so as to increase the equalization payment to him by approximately $10 million. ... [read more]

Tuesday, June 11, 2019 @ 12:42 PM

Family business succession planning: A primer relay_race_sm

We are in the midst of the largest transfer of intergenerational wealth in our history. Nearly 60 per cent of owners of Canada’s small- and mid-sized businesses are now 50 or older. Further, four out of 10 entrepreneurs will exit their businesses in the coming years. ... [read more]

Thursday, June 06, 2019 @ 9:25 AM

Considerations on removing child from a will remove_child_sm

Issues arising after the death of a family member can often relate to a child being either not listed as a beneficiary under the will or “shortchanged” when it comes to their inheritance. ... [read more]

Wednesday, June 05, 2019 @ 8:33 AM

MENTAL INCOMPETENCY - Committees - Of person

Cross-applications by the parties to vary a committeeship order. ... [read more]

Tuesday, May 28, 2019 @ 1:36 PM

The peril of family asset transfers | Dale Barrett

Most people don’t think twice before transferring assets between family members. Why would they? People deposit money into each other’s accounts. They put each other’s names on their properties in order to get mortgages. They sell assets to one another for one dollar. They move closely held company shares back and forth. And they inadvertently create massive tax problems for themselves, some of which are impossible to fix. ... [read more]

Monday, May 27, 2019 @ 10:37 AM

Non-resident executors: From ancillary grants to foreign trusts foreign_cash_sm

In our last article in this series, we talked about some of the tax and non-tax-related considerations that may arise when an estate has foreign executors or other legal representatives. Here are the remaining considerations. ... [read more]

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 @ 8:40 AM

MARITAL PROPERTY - Division of family property on death

Appeal by the executor from a decision holding the chambers judge could not entertain an application for an interim distribution of family property based on the material before him and awarding the respondent solicitor–client costs payable by the appellant personally. ... [read more]

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 @ 9:14 AM

Organ Donation: ‘Gift of life’ and testamentary freedom organ_donor_sm

On April 12, Nova Scotia’s legislature unanimously passed the Human Organ and Tissue Donation Act, legislation that presumes consent for organ donation. With that the province became the first jurisdiction in North America to pass such legislation. Following the story of Logan Boulet, victim of the Humboldt bus tragedy who gave six others the gift of life by donating his organs, it is unsurprising that organ donation has found its way into public eye. ... [read more]

Friday, May 17, 2019 @ 8:35 AM

WILLS - Construction and interpretation - Testator’s intention to be given effect

Appeal by the Estate from a decision of a chambers judge concluding that the testator intended “home” to have a broad meaning such that it included not only the testator’s residence, garage and the land on which these structures were located, but also personal property owned by the testator and located on the land that contributed to the testator’s enjoyment of his home. ... [read more]

Thursday, May 16, 2019 @ 9:34 AM

Non-resident executors and legal reps in estate law foreign_money_sm

There are a number of tax and non-tax-related considerations that may arise when an estate has foreign executors or other legal representatives. ... [read more]