Estates & Wills & Trusts

Major life changes should trigger will update

Before heading down the aisle to say ‘I do’ for a second time, Toronto wills and estates lawyer Patrick J. Aulis advises couples to update their estate plans, as marriage revokes an existing will. Read more

Friendly mobile experience crucial for law firm websites

As many clients are finding law firm websites and blogs through their smartphones, it is vital for firms to prioritize the mobile experience, Toronto estate litigator Felice Kirsh tells Lawyers Weekly . Read more

Bringing your legal action before it’s too late

By Matthias Duensing . For anyone contemplating legal action, limitation periods are one of the most important rules to understand. A limitation period is the time within which a person must commence a legal claim. The “limitations clock” starts running at some defined event, such as the date of an accident or a person’s death. In Canada, limitation periods typically range from six months to two years. If a person fails to launch their claim within the limitation period, a court is usually obliged to strike the claim, regardless of its merits. Read more

Creative branding key to law firms' marketing plans

Creative branding is key to standing out in the crowded marketplace for legal services, Toronto estates and trusts lawyer Suzana Popovic-Montag tells Lawyers Weekly . Read more

Planning for access to digital accounts

By Ian Hull . As society is becoming more and more digitized, there is an increased need for individuals to consider their online accounts in their estate planning. Today, computers and cellphones can store a wealth of important information about an individual through applications such as Facebook, Twitter and online banking websites. Furthermore, there are many other online platforms such as online gaming websites that individuals can win money or put real money into. Read more

Power of attorney used to steal life savings

By Charles Ticker . The dangers of power of attorney abuse can be seen in a recent story from Kitchener, Ont. A man has been charged with fraud. According to the story the man used a power of attorney to steal his mother’s entire life savings. The funds transferred allegedly total over $62,000. Read more

When can a will be signed by someone other than the testator?

By Suzana Popovic-Montag . We have written before on the formal requirements of a will in Ontario, under the Succession Law Reform Act . One requirement is that a will is signed “by the testator or by some other person in his or her presence and by his or her direction” ( s4(1)(a) ). This section indicates that a will may be signed by an agent, or a signature by amanuensis. It also raises the important question: in what circumstances would it be appropriate to have a third party sign a will on behalf of the testator? Read more

Sexual abuse suit filed by estate faces technical hurdles

A lawsuit filed by the estate of an Ottawa man claiming a Catholic priest sexually abused him will have to overcome a number of evidentiary burdens if it goes to trial, says Toronto-area estate litigator Charles Ticker. Read more

Duensing Law shortlisted for Top Boutiques list

Toronto wills and estates law firm Duensing Law , headed up by lawyer Matthias Duensing , has been shortlisted for inclusion in Canadian Lawyer ’s Top Boutiques survey. Read more

Collaborative law office design makes for a 'better team'

With the option of working in a "synergy room" with other colleagues or in a closed office, Toronto estates and trusts lawyer Suzana Popovic-Montag tells Lawyers Weekly that associates at Hull & Hull LLP ’s law office have “the best of both worlds.” Read more

Drilling down on the deductibility of paid executor compensation

By Avi Dahary . The uncertainty surrounding whether compensation paid to an estate executor is deductible and if so, how much of it is deductible, has meant that most tax treatments of this issue are to the extremes — either deduct the full amount of paid compensation or none at all. Needless to say, both treatments are often unsatisfactory. Read more

Henson Trusts: an estate-planning tool for all

Although Henson Trusts were originally designed to protect the inheritance of children with special needs, they can also be an effective estate planning tool for other families, says Ottawa disabilities and estate planning lawyer Kenneth Pope. Read more

Wise to choose tech-savvy trustee for digital estate plan

Digital assets are new territory for many lawyers and accountants — but failing to pay attention to these accounts when estate planning may leave them completely inaccessible to heirs and executors, Toronto estates and trusts lawyer Suzana Popovic-Montag tells The Bottom Line . Read more

Legal podcast gives clients, firm extra connection

Although it started out as part of a concerted marketing push, Hull on Estates is now Canada’s longest-running legal podcast — and its regular expert commentary on everything from celebrity wills to Court of Appeal decisions has kept lawyers and clients tuning in since 2006, Toronto estates and trusts lawyer Suzana Popovic-Montag tells Canadian Lawyer magazine. Read more