Estates & Wills & Trusts

Five bad things that could happen if you die without a will

By Lisa Laredo . Do you know what happens if you die without a will? Here’s the story of one family who learned the hard way. In this family, the grandmother (who had a will) died. While the estate was being settled, her adult daughter died, leaving behind three children in their early 20s. Read more

Travel much? Currency exchange is getting easier

By Ian Hull . We’ve seen it first hand in many estates situations: families with property and assets in different countries. In the estate administration process, this can present a host of problems if proper planning hasn’t been done. Read more

Charles Manson estate dispute offers broader lessons

The dispute over the estate of Charles Manson offers lessons for testators with less controversial backgrounds, Toronto litigator Matthew Urback tells Read more

Preparing your client for an estate mediation

When preparing for an estate mediation, there are a number of issues both counsel and clients should be mindful of, says Toronto estates and trusts lawyer Suzana Popovic-Montag . Read more

Mediating estate disputes part 1: preparation

In the first instalment of a three-part series, Toronto-area estates litigator and mediator Charles B. Ticker discusses how to prepare for mediation. Read more

Can you win the lottery and remain anonymous?

By Ian Hull . When it comes to money matters, privacy is a big issue. We see it all the time in the estates area – a great deal of time and planning can go into ensuring that estate details remain confidential. Read more

Do you need a life insurance trust?

By Lisa Laredo . Answering the question of whether you need a life insurance trust first requires an explanation of what it is. A life insurance trust is a trust established by the settlor to deal with the life insurance proceeds that are payable upon his or her death. Read more

Guardianship enables parents to legally remain in caretaking role

In the final instalment of a two-part series, Ottawa disabilities and estate planning lawyer Ken Pope explains the process of applying for legal guardianship. Read more

Dust (or ashes) in the wind

By Suzana Popovic-Montag . Here’s a scenario that’s becoming more common. A family member dies. The deceased had expressed a preference for cremation, and you, as the estate trustee, honour those wishes. The funeral home hands you a rather heavy velvet bag full of ashes and then, well, and then what? Read more

Cryptocurrency assets may call for an update to estate plan

In the final instalment of a two-part series, Cornwall wills and estates lawyer Michele Allinotte explores the nuances of dealing with cryptocurrency assets in your estate plan. Read more

How a walk in the park can improve your mental health

By Ian Hull . Anxiety, depression and other mental health issues can occur for any number of reasons, but they often emerge when a loved one has died. While grief is a natural occurrence that’s distinct from depression, it’s not unusual for the grief over the death of a friend or family member to trigger a major depressive episode. And these conditions can worsen if the death results in family conflict, whether over the estate or other family issues. Read more

What is the Canada Pension Plan death benefit?

By Michele Allinotte . The financial issues that arise from the death of a loved one can cause a significant amount of stress. It is important to look at all the options available to you to help defray the costs. Read more

Assessing a loved one’s capacity

Family members must often make tough decisions when a loved one shows signs of incapacity, says Toronto wills and estates lawyer Matthew Urback . Read more

Digital assets and estate planning – the new normal

In the first instalment of a two-part series, Cornwall wills and estates lawyer Michele Allinotte explores best practices in how to handle digital assets in your estate plan. Read more

No right of equalization when a common-law spouse dies

Toronto estates and trusts lawyer Ian Hull is hoping a decision in a suit of unjust enrichment he filed before the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) will bring much-needed clarity to the right of equalization for common-law spouses. Read more