Estates & Wills & Trusts

Don’t forget digital assets in estate plan

Testators should maintain a list of their digital assets and passwords to ease the worries of their surviving relatives, says Toronto wills and estates lawyer Lisa Laredo. Read more

Not every issue is worthy of a passing of accounts: Kirsh

While anyone with a financial interest in an estate may trigger a formal court application to scrutinize the estate trustee’s accounts, Toronto trust and estate litigator Felice Kirsh says it’s not a right to be exercised casually. Read more

Communication key to avoiding family estate disputes

Testators can head off the threat of an estate dispute by explaining decisions to family members before death, says Toronto corporate and estates lawyer Marlin Horst. Read more

Don’t have a will? Now’s the time to write one

By Lisa Laredo More than half of Canadians don’t have a will, and if you’re in that majority, it’s time to prioritize creating this vital document. In honour of November being Make a Will month, we want to help you understand why you need a will, and what happens if you die without one. Read more

Alberta estate challenge has lessons for lawyers, clients

A recent decision illustrates that testators need to give specific instructions and, more importantly, lawyers need to be precise in their drafting, says Toronto trusts and estates lawyer Daniel Bernstein. Read more

Social media evidence in estates litigation

By Ian Hull For those who are about to enter, or are in the very midst of, a long and arduous legal dispute, beware the ineffaceable nature of social media activity. Read more

Make-A-Will-Month a great excuse to get estate in order

November is the Ontario Bar Association’s (OBA) Make-a-Will Month, and Toronto wills and estates lawyer Lisa Laredo says there’s no better time to act for those without an estate plan, no matter their age. Read more

Do you need a ‘pet-nup’?

Owning an animal is a privilege and responsibility, so owners need to make arrangements for their pet’s care in wills and possibly even in prenuptial agreements, says Cornwall wills and estates lawyer Michele Allinotte. Read more

Third parties can help executors avoid pitfalls, focus attention

Administering an estate is a daunting task that can require extensive skills beyond the scope of some executors, and seeking guidance from knowledgeable third parties can be an important part of ensuring all responsibilities of the role are met, says Avi Dahary, founder of AccounTrust. Read more

How to avoid costly estates disputes: Gossin

Making a will is the most effective thing a person can do to avoid a dispute over their estate once they’re gone, says Toronto mediator and lawyer Eric Gossin. Read more

Keep detailed records, receipts as estate trustee

It is vital for estate trustees to keep detailed records in case they are ever forced to formally pass accounts, says Toronto trust and estate litigator Felice Kirsh. Read more

Epstein case would play out differently in Canada: Urback

The controversy surrounding the death of financier Jeffrey Epstein shows that no matter how rich or famous you are, issues around estate planning can come up after you die, says Toronto wills and estates lawyer Matthew Urback. Read more

Good behaviour rewarded in passing of accounts decision

A pair of caregivers received a just reward in a decision that recognized their selfless good work as executors and attorneys, says Toronto-area estates litigator and mediator Charles B. Ticker. Read more

Avoid common errors when applying for estate trustee certificate

By Suzana Popovic-Montag Commencing an Application for a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee With a Will is the first step in having a court formally declare a will as valid. This process was formerly known in Ontario as “probate”. Read more

Mediation of estate disputes can preserve money, privacy

Mediation can be an effective means of alternative dispute resolution when family members are in a battle over assets, says Toronto estates litigator and mediator Howard Black. Read more