Estates & Wills & Trusts

Getting legal documents in order gives seniors peace of mind

With an aging population, it’s important to get your legal documents in order — and the earlier, the better, says Toronto wills and estates lawyer Lisa Laredo. Read more

Do-it-yourself wills are a recipe for litigation

Do-it-yourself will kits can be a recipe for litigation, warns Toronto-area estates litigator and mediator Charles Ticker. Read more

Inter vivos shelter trust best for adult child with special needs

Many individuals who opt to buy a home for an adult child with special needs may choose to put the property in his or her name, but the use of an inter vivos shelter trust is likely a better option, Ottawa disabilities and estate planning lawyer Kenneth Pope writes in The Lawyer’s Daily. Read more

Regulate personal support workers: Popovic-Montag

A spate of recent abuse allegations shows the need for regulation of personal support workers (PSWs), says Toronto estates and trusts lawyer Suzana Popovic-Montag. Read more

Duelling siblings, a heartbroken mother and undue influence

By Matthias Duensing . Money, power and suspicion. In a recent case , the Ontario Court of Appeal has hopefully put an end to a sibling rivalry that, in the words of the court, lost sight of the fact that it’s the “best interests of their mother,” and “not their own pride, suspicions, authority or desire” that must be served. Read more

Estate Mediation part 2: what to expect

In Part 2 of our series on estate mediation, Toronto trust and estate litigator Felice Kirsh discusses what’s involved once the process gets underway. Read more

Mirror wills vs. mutual wills – different documents, purposes

By Ian Hull . Don’t let the similar sounding names fool you – while there are some similarities between “mirror wills” and “mutual wills,” there’s also a world of difference. Read more

Ontarians with disabilities to benefit from exemption limit change

A number of recent changes that increase the exemption limits for those who receive funding from the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) will mean more money for Ontarians with disabilities and represent a welcome change to the province's social assistance programs, Ottawa disabilities and estate planning lawyer Kenneth Pope writes in The Lawyer’s Daily. Read more

Estate Mediation part 1: The benefits

In Part 1 of our series on estate mediation, Toronto trust and estate litigator Felice Kirsh explores the benefits of mediation in estates disputes. Read more

Clearly articulated wills reduce risk of court challenges

A will may never be totally lawsuit-proof, but Toronto litigator Matthew Urback says there are steps people can take to minimize the chances it will be contested in court. Read more

Time to abolish Ontario's perpetuities law: Hull

Moves by other provinces to abolish or replace perpetuities laws signals that it’s time for Ontario to reform its estate legislation, Toronto estate lawyer Ian Hull tells Read more

Push hard – get clients talking to family about their estate

By Suzana Popovic-Montag . You’re planning a client’s estate. You’ve identified the assets and tax issues and planned accordingly. Most importantly, your client has provided clear instructions on her wishes for the distribution of her estate. You’ve prepared her will and it’s ready for execution. It’s taken some time to get things right, but it’s a job well done. Read more

Duty of disclosure – the unique rules for estates and trusts

By Ian Hull . We all know that lawyers have a duty to hold client information confidential – it’s one of the foundations of our legal system. But estates are a special matter. If we follow the letter of the law regarding confidentiality, a drafting lawyer would be unable to release the testator’s will following their death. Read more

Everything you need to know about naming a POA

By Lisa Laredo . Two of the three most important documents every person should have are a Power of Attorney (POA) for Personal Care and a POA for Property (the third is a will). Yet, only about 30 per cent of Ontarians have these signed documents. Read more

Careful planning critical for bequests to dependent child

Financial planning for a child deemed incompetent is needed to ensure a smooth transition and inheritance through succession law, says Ottawa disabilities and estate planning lawyer Kenneth Pope. Read more