Estates & Wills & Trusts

Province gives ‘meaningful guidance’ around multiple wills

Recent guidance from Ontario’s Ministry of Finance is helpful to estate lawyers looking to minimize probate-related expenses through multiple wills, says Toronto trusts and estates lawyer Suzana Popovic-Montag . Read more

A cautionary tale about separation and dying without a will

By Matthias Duensing for After 10 years of marriage and two small children, Theresa falls in love with a co-worker, and asks her husband, Max, to leave their family home in Woodstock, which they owned together as joint tenants. Read more

Discuss settlement range with client prior to mediation

Counsel must prepare their clients for mediation to get the most out of the process, says Toronto trust and estate litigator and mediator Felice Kirsh. Read more

I’m the executor but not a family member and it’s getting awkward

By Lisa Laredo Have you been named the executor but you’re not a family member? Being executor of an estate can be a tough job. After all, you are required to gather all of the estate assets, pay the person’s debts and divide what remains of their estate amongst their beneficiaries. It can be challenging, overwhelming, time-consuming and emotionally draining. Read more

Divorce agreements can affect estate settlements: Horst

Failing to fulfil your obligations in a divorce settlement can be costly, even after you pass away, says Toronto wills and estate lawyer Marlin Horst. Read more

Ticker writes a new chapter in his career with first book

Toronto-area estates litigator Charles B. Ticker has written the perfect book for those who know "bubkes" about estates and trusts. Read more

Planning key to avoiding probate fee ordeal for B.C. executors

A law that requires executors-to-be in British Columbia to pay probate fees when applying for a grant of probate can cause a significant practical problem for those administering valuable estates — but with some advance planning, it is possible to avoid running into these challenges, says Vancouver corporate lawyer Jonathan Reilly . Read more

Four things I don’t understand — and four shocking answers

By Ian Hull Answers to every question are now online. But often, a question pops into our head only to vanish quickly from our thoughts when the triggering moment disappears. And we forget to look up the answer later. Read more

Washington is the first state to allow human remains to be composted

By Suzana Popovic-Montag You’re likely familiar with the Christian burial phrase “ashes to ashes, dust to dust.” While that phrase has been recited over graves for centuries, it may need changing in Washington state. With the green light given to the composting of human remains, “dust to dirt” may be a more appropriate way of putting it. Read more

Petty estate dispute intensifying

By Charles Ticker A recent story online outlines the current dispute involving the estate of the deceased musician Tom Petty. He died on Oct. 2, 2017 at the age of 66. The Petty estate dispute places his widow against his two daughters from his first marriage. His widow has commenced a case in L.A. County Court accusing the daughters of interfering with the management of the Petty estate. Read more

Trigger alert: life changes mean you need to change your will

By Lisa Laredo You’ve written a will — great! But when was the last time you reviewed it? If you don’t know the answer to that question, then it’s probably time to do so because a will is not something that you can simply set and forget. Certain life events should naturally trigger a will review. Read more

Tom Petty estate dispute offers lessons for testators

Celebrities are just like the rest of us when it comes to estate disputes, says Toronto wills and estates lawyer Matthew Urback . Read more

Laugh at death (on us)

By Ian Hull . During the past Halloween season, I couldn’t help laughing as I drove by a home in the country that had a very realistic looking, life-sized grim reaper on the front porch. The juxtaposition of decorative corn stalks and an inviting veranda with this figure of death looming over the doorway showed that someone inside had a very funny (but dark) sense of humour. Read more

Protecting social benefits for children with disabilities

Caring for a child with a disability is more than a lifelong commitment, and parents can ensure their loved ones are supported even after their passing with the right preparations, says Ottawa disabilities and estate planning lawyer Kenneth Pope . Read more

Divorced or married, naming your child’s guardian is important

In the final instalment of a two-part series, Cornwall wills and estates lawyer Michele Allinotte discusses guardianship obstacles and options for divorced couples. Read more